Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Best Craftsman Always Leaves Holes

For Christmastime and the turning of the year, here's a note from a
writer I consider one of the best, Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
The best craftsman always leaves holes and gaps in the works of the poem so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash, or thunder in. The joy and function of poetry is, and was, the celebration of man, which is also the celebration of God.
—Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet

Anytime you want some advice on writing well, re-read "A Child's Christmas in Wales."

From the first paragraph:
One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.

To the last lines:
Looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night. I turned the gas down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.

Merry Christmas to all.

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