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" In my Craft or Sullen Art" Dylan Thomas

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" In my Craft or Sullen Art" Dylan Thomas Empty " In my Craft or Sullen Art" Dylan Thomas

Post by Zaki_abl on Mon Feb 20 2012, 14:02

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
Not 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

Thomas is answering the question:
"Why do you write poetry?"

Why does he stay up late at night (when others are asleep in their beds) laboring at his poems?

He starts by telling you what his reasons are NOT:
-- not for ambition (reputation)
-- not for money (bread)
-- not for fame (strut and trade) or maybe poontang

BUT rather for the "wages" he's paid by the sleeping lovers' hearts

(Okay, that idea of "wages" from "lovers' hearts" doesn't make sense at this point, though. It's not that YOU don't get it. It's that you're not really supposed to get it at this point in the poem. And -- as you'll see -- it turns out to be a stumper, something that at some level, doesn't make any sense. Anyway, the idea here is to hang on and hope hopes this "wages" idea makes sense by the end of the second stanza.)

He doesn't write for
-- the proud man, the intellectual who stands apart from the heart's troubles,
-- he doesn't write to gain immortal fame as a poet (to join the dead),

BUT he writes for the lovers whose hearts are full of rage and grief -- who don't even READ his poems ...


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