23 June 2016

Poetry Thursday - "In my craft or sullen art" by Dylan Thomas

In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.

Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

- Dylan Thomas (via)

The London-based Poetry Society used the text of this poem for their "Knit A Poem" project. Letters of the poem and spaces between words were knit or crocheted into a 12" square by over 1000 volunteers worldwide. The finished poem measured 13m x 9m and was unveiled on 7 October 2009 in front of the British Library in London before touring to Thomas's home town, Swansea.

Each knitter was asked to think of their favourite poem while they knitted, and name the poem on the back of their square – some even embroidered the full text there.

The secret poem that was selected for the ‘Knit a Poem’ project was only revealed when the work was unveiled.

(I found the poem when resuming reading a library book, borrowed in February and much renewed: Ali Smith's "Artful". It starts a section near the end.)

No comments: