Tag Archives: Richard Burton

In My Craft …

Whenever I attend an award ceremony, and let me tell you the frequency is running at once a year since this time last year, I think of the following poem:

It works best if you can image a rich, insistent Welsh baritone. Richard Burton maybe, Sir Harry Secombe perhaps …

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

Or maybe the author himself, Dylan Thomas.

Dylan Thomas

And he would have known all about it, having finally moved off the mortal coil aged 39 after taking in an immoderate number of whiskeys down at The White Horse Tavern in New York City.

Sort of thing Rylance might recite when called to the podium … maybe?