Patron Poets

Could Dylan Thomas be the Patron Poet of developers?

Here In This Spring


Here in this spring, stars float along the void;

Here in this ornamental winter

Down pelts the naked weather;

This summer buries a spring bird.


Symbols are selected from the years’

Slow rounding of four seasons’ coasts,

In autumn teach three seasons’ fires

And four birds’ note.


I should tell summer from the trees, the worms

Tell, if at all, the winter’s storms

Or the funeral of the sun;

I should learn spring by the cuckooing,

And the slug should teach me destruction.


A worm tells summer better than the clock,

The slug’s a living calendar of days;

What shall it tell me if a timeless insect

Says the world wears away?

                                                - Dylan Thomas

Projects often trace the seasons, and poorly run projects feel more often like winter than spring or summer. Schedules and software developent processes are very well and good, but daily builds tell progress better than status reports and the clock. Was Thomas given software development insight by the Muses?

Think about your experiences with software development and how develpment projects progress. Think about how the career of Software Developer evolves with experience and time. Think about the teams you have been on, the projects that have successfully delivered what they claimed theirs at the beginning, and the ones that have failed. Then consider what Thomas says in what is likely his most famous work:

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night


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.


Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.


Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.


Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

                                                 - Dylan Thomas

These stanzas could be about software architects (their words forked no lightning), prima-donnas (good men...crying how bright their frail deeds might have danced), methodologists (sang the sun in flight), programmers (grave men who see with blinding sight) and the rest of us tracing along the arc of our career path (curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears).

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