In My Craft or Sullen Art

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.
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To be engaged in life, with life, is the gift of consciousness; an alert consciousness, a consciousness that is deliberate and pays attention to those activities and moments that
resemble something that makes us smile and gives us joy.  
Have you ever heard the moon raging–I have, it sounds like the baying of wolves.  It is a sound of anguish flooding the immediate universe with pain or concern and not a soul
hears the cry of their most secret hearts.
The tears in the night that linger in a dry eye, the lack of a common wage, a spirit broken because the hopes have become empty wishes and there is no vision beyond what your eye can see.  These bayings of an empty heart howl across the lake as the full moon shines down to emphasize the stillness.
It is for these souls that I write and for mine and yours:
 
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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Bending Birches: One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

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Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,   55
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Robert Frost does justice to life in new england.  It is such a wonderful place to live in October.  Well, that is if you enjoy nature, some mud on your feet and branches scratching against your face.  A walk through new england woods at this time of the year bring back all that is good about memories.  And like Robert Frost suggest in this poem, it would be nice to leave this world, as long as he knew he would be sent back.  But to go and to never return.  Well, like most of us he wished to postpone that as long as he can.

October is a month of beautiful transition.  As the leaves begin to fall and the winds chills against the cottages, you can begin to see light smoke swirling from the roof tops in early evening.  The scent of autumn returns a moist earthiness to the air.  The sun does not warm as it did in August.  The air chills fast and mornings are crispy.

It is right about the time when we will get our first frost.  Till now a lot of green still runs through the landscape and the red and the yellows pop when the sun shines. But, soon a kind of russet will take over and guide us gently to the crispy brown oak leaves of November.

But while it is still October, I gladly walk in the autumn woods.  They help me to contemplate the consciousness I hold so dear.  They help me to remember that my Canadian memories are windows to my soul.

WHEN I see birches bend to left and right
Across the line of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

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