The title, "Rage Against the Dying of the Light", was taken from a Dylan Thomas* poem; and seems most appropriate for this subject. Unless you've been living in a hole somewhere the last 30 years, you certainly know Rhinoceros worldwide are being slaughtered for their horn; used for quack "medical cures". Some species have been driven to extinction, some nearly to extinction. The Black Rhino alone saw a 96% decline from the 70's to a few years ago. (Though numbers are rebounding slightly, they still remain critically endangered.) Such senselessness. Such a waste.
Personally, this was a difficult piece. Used to doing more graceful animals such as deer, gazelle, antelope- I had a hard time getting in touch with the energy and spirit of these magnificent animals. Without being in touch with that in the beginning, I felt I was attempting to bring life to a cinder block. The more I read, the more I studied, the more the shameful waste and slaughter of these animals sunk in. As well as getting a sense of the animal's unbridled ferocity, untamable power, and raw force- I came in contact with my rage over its demise. Those 2 things merged at some point. The title screamed at me (having heard it again after many years on of all places, a television commercial!). The rhino here charges, wheeling about looking for his nemesis. He may not win- his vision is poor and he can not see his adversary. Yet he will fight to his last, and as the poem says, "Not go gentle into that good night"*. "Rage Against the Dying of the Light" is not only descriptive of the state of this creature's spirit, but also a call to action. We must all take his rage, take our rage, and rage against the dying of this great wild beast.
Though it was primarily modeled from a black rhinoceros it has some elements borrowed from all rhinos.
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