Knit wit!

BerlinKnittingGirlB-784126The Poetry Society organised a mass knitting of a poem this year, with people all over the UK (and possibly beyond) knitting letters and blank squares to be sewn together into a poem, which was revealed (after much sewing together) at the British Library earlier this month. I am pleased to say that one square of it was mine. It’s an interesting idea in so many ways – about bringing together art (poetry) and craft (knitting); about breaking up a poem into lots of tiny elements – letters, punctuation, even spaces – with none of the knitters knowing what the end result would be. I liked that on the back of each poem, we could add a tag saying which poem you were thinking about whilst knitting (mine was Rossetti’s “Monna Innominata”). Anyway, there are now pictures of the end result here, – do have a look, it’s amazing, and huge! There’s also a great “knitted poem” game on the Poetry Society’s site here. The poem, appropriately, was Dylan Thomas’s lovely “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.

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