CRAFT OR SULLEN ART?

Last Saturday at our RWI meeting, one of guest speakers, Chuck Sasser, talked about the importance of learning your craft. As a writer talent and drive will take you so far. But we have to constantly challenge ourselves…no not challenge, demand, that we strive for excellence every day.  The task of polishing our work is one that we can never cross off our To Do List. Our labor is often done late at night when the kids are finally in bed or when the laundry is put away. Life sometimes gets in the way of writing and it becomes easy to re-prioritize our tasks so that writing and polishing our craft moves to the bottom of the list. Chuck said as writers we have to discipline ourselves to keep writing at the top of the list.

 I ran across a poem this week by Dylan Thomas. It says it all.

 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 labor 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 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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