Saturday, August 27, 2005

In my craft or sullen art

Writing alone late at night, I can't help thinking of 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.

Come to think of it, spindrift pages would be a much better subtitle for what I do here than commonplace book. I think I'll change it.

I've always loved Dylan, "Thump the Clouds" my erstwhile music project was named after a poem of his as well.

He categorised himself as follows:
One: I am a Welshman;
Two: I am a drunkard;
Three: I am a lover of the human race, especially of women.

A Welsh Born Icon, of course, but often a contrary bugger to read. The Prologue to his Collected Poems is 102 lines long and has an insane rhyming scheme in which the first line rhymes with the last, and the second with the penultimate etc. until the two halves meet with a rhyme between line 51 and 52. Its a bit like the legend of the code that proves that the bard of Avon wrote the English version of the 42nd psalm because the 42nd word from the beginning is shake and the 42nd word from the end is spear.

Oh, and Paul is the Walrus.

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