Monday, 23 November 2009

The Knitted Poem

Yesterday, for one afternoon only, the Victoria Baths played host to the Knitted Poem. What on earth is that, I hear you ask! 
To mark its centenary, the Poetry Society commissioned more than a thousand volunteers from all over the world to knit squares featuring individual letters. These were sewn together to form a poem whose identity was a closely guarded secret. In October the poem's title was revealed - In My Craft Or Sullen Art by Dylan Thomas. The giant woolly masterpiece (13mx9m) was star of the show for National Poetry Day on October 8 in London. This weekend the poem was on tour in Manchester.
It was displayed in the Second Class Males pool where it could be viewed on the ground and from the gallery above. We went along to gaze in wonder and sneak a peep at the baths - to see how the restoration is coming along before the building goes into hibernation till the weather warms up in April.

In My Craft or Sullen Art

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. 
Dylan Thomas

Click on this link for some poetry and knitting fun!

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