Friday, November 10, 2006

Duke Altum's Poem of the Week #42

This justly-famous poem from the celebrated Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (not the greatest poet named Thomas from Wales, however, in my view – that honor would go to R. S. Thomas) is an inspiring expression of what motivates the true poet – better yet, the true artist: “Not for ambition or bread/Or the strut and trade of charms/On the ivory stages”… Dylan Thomas certainly had his issues, but man, his Gaelic poet’s soul certainly shines through in his work… it cannot be denied!

Enjoy this one for the sheer richness of the language and its inherent understanding of the artist's true vocation...


In my craft or sullen art

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

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