Listening time: under 4 minutes. 

A poet describes the driving force of his art, not one of fame, trophies and applause, but rather the ‘common wages’ of the secrets, loves and griefs of ordinary people, who may not even know or care about the poems being written for them.   

In my craft or sullen art

Exercised in the still night

When only the moon rages

And the lovers lie abed …

I like Thomas’s ‘singing light’ of night-time writing, and the staccato dismissal of ‘the strut and trade of charms’, and the way the later line ‘But for the lovers’ sinks as if into someone’s arms. 

This is my rendition, but you may like to hear another, recorded for The Poetry Foundation.  And the full text can be viewed here.

See also our celebration of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, which was part of the literary furniture in the house where I grew up. I have a vivid recollection of listening to the BBC recording on an LP. 

And feel free to see, or hear, others in the Poems for my Family series.

Photo credit: Voltamax at pixabay

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