Like most great artists, however, Thomas was an enigma: Depressive. Alcoholic. Self destructive.
But words flowed out of him trailing clouds of glory, to quote another poet. If you have lost the joie de vivre, if life hangs limply on a bough, then drink of this golden cup handed to you by the poet Dylan Thomas and be born anew.
"Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means, Time held me green and dying, Though I sang in my chains like the sea."
"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."
And yet the bard himself failed his own test. He did go gently into that good night; he went stupidly, wastefully. He did not put up a fight when death kindly stopped for him at the age of thirty-nine. He kept pouring himself another, kept poisoning his liver until it could take no more. It's the Salieri Paradox that Peter Schaeffer points to in Amadeus: There is the imparted wisdom and then there is the imperfect vessel.
Salieri rages against God who has overlooked his piety and given the gift of genius instead to " a boastful, smutty, infantile boy...and give(n) me for reward only the ability to recognise the incarnation."
The heavenly chorus of words sang through Dylan Thomas; he was not the progenitor. He recognised the incarnation that was in him, an imperfect vessel, and that in the end was a fate too difficult to live with.