View Full Version : Michelle "Do not go gently into that good night!"

August 30th, 2005, 12:56 PM
God bless her...

I'm filled with so much excitement and anticipation for the upcoming season. Michelle's rumored actions are reminding me of that famous poem by Dylan Thomas??

Do not go gently into that good night! Rage against the dying of the light!

I believe Michelle will not allow herself to quietly fade out of this sport. She will fight tooth and nail to the very end. And if she still doesn't win then dammit who cares! It's not the results that matter it will be the fact that she didn't hold anything back, and she layed it all out there. That's what she'll be respected for...not the medal.

Although I have firm belief that this is her time. There's a lot stacked against her. She's got a great deal to overcome. But that's what a champion does. They take what seemingly is an impossible situation and they redefine the the expectations of the world on their abilities.

God speed Michelle! Fight hard and REFUSE TO LOOSE!!

August 30th, 2005, 01:41 PM
You do know that this poem was written by Dylan Thomas about his father's dying, don't you?

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

I really don't think that leaving eligible competitive skating (if that is what Michelle does after this season) is at all comparable to dying. Oh well, I guess everybody interprets things differently, but seeing this poem quoted in context with Michelle kind of creeped me out.

August 30th, 2005, 03:35 PM
It's a metaphor...

I interpret it to mean going out on your own terms. Not accepting what the world hands you and fighting against the feeling that all you have left is "defeat"

Lisa Seye
August 30th, 2005, 04:10 PM
ITA I recall this poem and I think it fits perfectly. I did not know it was written for the author's dying father until today. Yet, I still think it fits. :-)

August 30th, 2005, 06:06 PM
I'm with you SF5. It REALLY creeped me out. I guess Nate is running out of topics to start threads about.

August 30th, 2005, 06:39 PM
I interpret it to mean going out on your own terms. Not accepting what the world hands you and fighting against the feeling that all you have left is "defeat"
Or as Rodney Dangerfield said in "Back to School", "I don't take **** from nobody!!!!" :b

August 31st, 2005, 04:24 AM
it figures...

I post something meant to be encouraging and inspriring and it even that get's criticized?

It seems that only negativity get's attention when it comes to me??


August 31st, 2005, 05:24 AM
Don't sweat it Natephame. There will always be someone with negativity. And I liked it as well. The whole poem may not be relevant, but those two lines definitely represent how Michelle has fought back against the negative comments and come out every year with beautiful performances :)

August 31st, 2005, 05:25 AM
This poem used to be part of the curriculum in 9th or 10th grade in the US, and it may still be. I thought everyone who went that far in school (and paid attention) KNEW that this poem is about death. Since Nate makes such a point of his education I thought he would know this so I found the reference to Michelle disturbing and creepy. Why not just make a post about your belief that Michelle will fight to utmost, without having to refer to a poem that everyone associates with death? But whatever.

August 31st, 2005, 05:31 AM
well then to associate it with death.......many people want Michelle's eligible career to die, and she doesn't retire, she keeps fighting. She is THE light in ladies eligible competition, and she's not about to fade :)

August 31st, 2005, 05:34 AM
I posted several months ago about how Michelle's retirement reminded me of these lines from the poem, and no one posted any negativity about the reference. What gives?

Actually, there was quite a bit of discussion at that time, and at least one other who remarked that they too had thought about that line.

In reality, this poem is not just about death - it is about living one's life fully, and not giving up. It is about appreciating what one values in life, and treasuring it and acting on it as long as one has the opportunity. It is about finishing things with dedication, strength, and joy. I think its entirely appropriate - but it has already been discussed, Nate.

I think the superstitious stuff is kind of silly, but if its your thing, OK.

August 31st, 2005, 06:05 AM
Death does not have to refer to a person or living thing. It can refer to the "death" of a career. Michelle has had a long successful career and her career will probably "die" in the next year or two.

The reference did not creep me out. Rage Michelle --Rage on!
The best might be just around the corner. Hope springs eternal!

August 31st, 2005, 06:06 AM
I posted several months ago about how Michelle's retirement reminded me of these lines from the poem, and no one posted any negativity about the reference. What gives?Maybe some of the folks didn't see the post. I didn't.

I can understand why some are creeped out by it. I'm not exactly creeped out by it, but, Michelle is so full of life and her skating has had such a long and lasting impact, IMHO, dying and death are not words I associate with Michelle or her career. In a way, Michelle will always be on the ice for generations to come in the future of those skaters for which she is an inspiration.

So the "Do not go gently" metaphor does not resonate with me. Howerver, missmarysgarden, your description of why Michelle touches people in the "Why is MK artistic thread" was for me, the single most brilliant statement I have ever read about her on this forum. It was beautiful.

August 31st, 2005, 09:23 AM
Thank you, Ginny. I appreciate knowing that you share that almost indescribable relationship with Michelle. This is a bittersweet year for me, because I want her to last forever. Thank god for video tape!

August 31st, 2005, 09:29 AM
This is a bittersweet year for me, because I want her to last forever.Indeed, as fans, we have been lucky enough to have been spoiled much longer than any of us thought.

August 31st, 2005, 09:47 AM
Even more than lucky, kwanluv - BLESSED!

August 31st, 2005, 10:20 AM
AMEN!!! :angel


August 31st, 2005, 12:15 PM
Ginny, I can really appreciate how this line is experienced differently by different people. Its so loaded - Dylan Thomas was an "artist" with words. For me, as I said, this is a line of tremendous encouragement and promise - and when I posted about it a few months ago, it was to say that I keep thinking about it, and of how it was my mantra during some tremendous challenges in my life - that had nothing to do with death in its most common meaning. Whenever I find myself too tired to give my best effort to something, or too busy to visit a friend, or wanting to give up after a defeat, or a mistake, or an embarassment, this line pops into my head. Over the years, it has for me become a great source of strength, and I treasure these words because they have great power - for me. Maybe Michelle wouldn't get anything from them - but I often think of her private moments when the lights are out, what does she fear, what does she dare long for, does she feel that crawling feeling of doubt? I just always wonder what it would do for her now - if it could do for her what it did for me so many times. Just goes to show that not everyone is moved by the same thing.

August 31st, 2005, 01:23 PM
Nate, just wanted you to know I didn't find your reference to the poem inappropriate. Literature is subject to interpretation, always, and we need to be tolerant of each other's interpretations and applications. I think you explained your feelings about Michelle in your later paragraphs, and I can see why you interpret those lines the way you do.

PS. Don't feel so picked on. Many of us have been the subject of negative comments that surprised us...when we were just sharing thoughts. It's the nature of the beast. I made a comment about a commentator the other day and it was not well received. That's the risk we all take when we share. You just have to take it in stride, or not speak at all. I think it's better to take it in stride!

August 31st, 2005, 01:24 PM
I'm sorry if my being "creeped out" offended you, Nate. Perhaps it is because August is the month of the death of two of those nearest and dearest to me, that I reponded the way I did. That poem will always call to my mind the grief and pain of a loved one's dying -- I can't see it as a metaphor for anything else. And I don't see Michelle as needing to "rage against the dying of the light" -- I see her continuing her pursuit of her skating life goals as a strong and vibrant young woman. Maybe some of her fans are the ones who are not "going gentle" and are "raging" -- against the possible end of her competitive career. It's JMO -- no better or worse than anyone else's.

missmary: I don't remember your earlier post referencing this poem/quote -- but this summer has been kind of a rough one, so I may even have responded to it, even if I have no memory of it. Anything is possible.

September 1st, 2005, 02:58 PM
Nate, try not to feel bad, My FIRST topic I ever posted here turned into the biggest criticism and I was made to feel so insensitive and stupid. I have learned on that one post here to watch what you think and what you say. Be careful on what you say when you post because if anything sounds
"creepy or anything else, I can bet you that people will be freaking out. Nothing here is taken lightly. I know what you meant and your idea. Michelle would probably say thanks for what you meant and not be so eager to bash and criticize.
Hold your head up and remember be careful!!!!!!

September 1st, 2005, 04:32 PM
the poem may have been written about death, but the beauty of poety, as with song and art, is that it is able to be intrepreted in many ways. I have read quotes and heard many poets, artists, etc say that its not about what the poem/song means to them (the writer) but about what it means to the reader. The basic theme of a poem can read as if through a prism. What is reflected is as much a result of what is on the paper as it is what (mind) it passes through

September 1st, 2005, 04:54 PM
beautifully put GoldenMichelle :)

Lisa Seye
September 1st, 2005, 06:09 PM
Golden Michelle,
Well put. I agree with DMBChic. I can think of some songs which were written for certain moments in the songwriter's life or to remember certain people and the songs came to be very special to many many listeners for a variety of reasons. Two songs I can think of are "Go Rest High on that Mountain" by Vince Gill, written for his father. Many people (at least in the country music world) are touched by this song for various reasons and Vince Gill was surprised by its impact on people. Another song is "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me, written again for a father and that song has touched many people in the gospel world and in other genres. I actually cry when I hear it. My mom told me of hearing a severly disabled man singing this song. He could not walk or move, but he sang this song with such emotion it made her cry. He interpreted it as when he gets to Heaven, he will be able to dance and sing for God, yet it was not written with that intent. I would be glad to post this song in the downloads section if anyone is interested. It is a Contemporary Christian song, but it did get airplay on pop stations, too.

September 3rd, 2005, 02:03 AM
Nate, nothing wrong with your post. Ignore the snarky ones. 0] They have to do that to feel superior. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

timothy d
September 3rd, 2005, 02:46 AM
Good grief.

..."shakes head slowly back and forth, forgetting people's opinions don't matter on an open forum"...

J Turner
September 3rd, 2005, 09:46 AM
I certainly can see the metaphorical connection. There is such thing as a symbolic or metaphorical death. The waning of one life and waxing of another. And if the Olympic year is her "swan song," we certainly do not want her to "go gentle into that good night."

If you want to go out on a limb, the Olympic torch could be the symbolic light. It is extinguished at the end of the Games. We do indeed want her to rage against the dying of that light which symbolizes the passing of one phase of her life (possibly) and the birth of another. In fact, Michelle has lived her life to its fullest, and she's only in her mid-twenties, she has nothing to regret, and still has time to fulfill other dreams - education, a husband, babies (oh, how cute they'll be), maybe coaching someday.

As the poem implies, many people die knowing their lives have not made an impact on others, like the "wise men" whose "words had forked no lightning" so they resisted death, which is natural and "right." I think Michelle has risen above this regretted anomyninity as Dylan advocated. She has affected so many people positively, she has brightened our lives as lightning can. It is a gift she has given to us. She lives with dignity and grace.

So in this Olympic season, perhaps the twilight of her competitive career, I do ask Michelle to keep fighting, to keep creating lightning, and raging against the dying of the light. Perhaps if she does, she gift herself, her family, and her fans with gold, which has its own internal light to ever remind her "to ignite the fire within."

To Nate, is your signature a quote from "Wicked"? I love that book. I'm reading The True Story of an Ugly Stepsister now.

September 3rd, 2005, 07:18 PM
I love that poem! I think it fits to life in general. I think it speaks volumes to fighting for what you believe in, not being afraid to go forward against any odds, and to not "go gentle into that good night".

I did study this both in high school and college in our Lit classes. None of the teachers/professors I had made us think the poem was entirely referencing death/dying even though Dylan Thomas did write it about his father. We were encouraged to say what we felt the poem meant in our own lives.

It goes right along with several of my favorite songs "I Hope You Dance", "Dance With My Father Again" and "Live like your were Dying." All songs that strike a chord with me and make me want to live life to the fullest even though the reasons for the songs can be sad.

So I say that Michelle should rage on!8)

September 4th, 2005, 09:05 AM
J Turner, that was beautifully expressed.