Read this: this background information will make it easier to understand the poem.
The text you are about to read is called a villanelle: a nineteen line poem in which the first and third lines of the opening stanza repeat in a regular pattern. For example, if the first stanza of the villanelle is
The art of losing isn’t hard to master; (1)
so many things seem filled with the intent (2)
to be lost that their loss is no disaster. (3)
Then the second and third stanza will be:
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master. (1)
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster. (3)
See how the lines repeat?
Because the villanelle form circles back on itself, it is often used for love poems, poems about anger, and poems about grief.
Think about what it is like to develop a bad crush on someone. It can be hard to think straight because that person keeps showing up in your thoughts, right? It's the same when you are angry or heartbroken, thinking the same painful thoughts over and over again. The villanelle's repeating lines imitate preoccupation or obsession. The poem keeps saying the same things in different ways, just like someone who is deeply in love, angry, or grieving.
The title of today's poem is Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. Here are the first three lines:
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.