Dylan Thomas and “The Edge of Love”

Dylan and Vera from “The Edge of Love” (photo: news.bbc.co.uk)

John Maybury’s “The Edge of Love” was finally available here for DVD.  The script, written by Sharman Macdonald (Keira Knightley’s mother) was based on David N. Thomas’ book, A Farm, Two Mansions and a Bungalow.  Two of my all-time favorite poems happen to be by Dylan Thomas: “Fern Hill” and “Poem in October” (which I make sure to recite every year on my birthday).  The focus was more on Keira Knightly’s character, Vera and her life, friendship with Caitlin McNamara (Sienna Miller) and loves (including Dylan played by Matthew Rhys and William Killick played by Cillian Murphy) than on Dylan and his poetry.  Fortunately, snatches from a few of his poems were used as voice-overs in a few scenes including one poem of his that had slipped my memory and now is my third all-time favorite poem: “In My Craft or Sullen Art”.

               IN MY CRAFT OR SULLEN ART
                                Dylan Thomas

                  In my craft or sullen art
                  Exercised in the still of 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 spendrift 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.


About poeticmeditations

A 19th-century romantic poet living in the 21st-century. The Romantic poets, nib pens, candlelight, waistcoats, and pocket watches are a few of my favorite things.
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