From the times of the ancient Greeks, poets recited their works. It was considered as much a part of the poet’s art as the composition of the poem was. This tradition continued through the middle of the twentieth century. It is PG’s opinion that the general end of poets as independent authors and the move of most into academia substantially reduced the role of the poet reciting his/her works.
It is also PG’s opinion that, in general, poems were better when they were recited regularly. A substantial part of the traditional poet’s art is arranging precisely chosen words into forms that carry meaning by the way they sound with the sound of words building upon and expanding the meaning of the words as they sit lifeless on the page.
The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas had life-long problems with alcoholism and, toward the end of his life, earned much-needed money by touring the United States in a series of very popular pubic readings of his poetry. In fact, he died in New York in 1953 at the beginning of another tour.
Do not go gentle into that good night was written for Thomas’ dying father.