The poem ‘’Lights Out’’ written by the war poet Philip Edward Thomas, deals with the concepts of sleep and nature, and explores his feelings about death.
Edward Thomas is remembered as one of England’s most important poets, since his works occupies a crucial role in the portrayal of poetry’s development throughout the twentieth century.
His poems are noted for their attention towards the nature and emotions. As an already successful writer, he dove into the work of poetry in 1914. Afraid of critics, he published his first collection of six poems under the pseudonym of Edward Eastaway.
These poems were the only of his poems he lived to see in print as he fell in battle in 1917.
His poems stressed the presence of warfare’s influence on the human mind and natural order. During the two years, he was enlisted in the army, he managed to write a lifetime’s poetry consisting of over 140 poems. These war poems convey an awareness of individual isolation, and sought to discover war’s influence on existentialism.
‘’Lights Out’’ is divided into 5 stanzas consisting of 6 lines each. The poem follows a quite unique rhyme scheme of ‘’(a-a),b,(c-c),b’’. This poetry form is called Rhupant and is one of the 24 traditional Welsh poetry rhyme schemes.1 A large diversity of adjectives are made use of, throughout the entire poem, which contribute to an oblivious and gloomy tone.
The power of sleep is introduced in the first stanza. During the first stanza, sleep is not portrayed as either negative or positive.
It is described as an ‘’ Unfathomable deep forest where all must lose their way’’. The stanza indicates that sleep is unavoidable and nobody can deceive it, indicating that sleep is something inevitable.
The opening phrase, ‘’I have come to the borders of sleep’’ displays a possible correlation between death and sleep, as it depicts the distinguishment from life and oblivion.