Knit a poem

The Poetry Society
The world’s largest knitted poem, unveiled by The Poetry Society at the British Library, October 2009. Hand-knitted by more than a thousand knitters worldwide, it recreates Dylan Thomas’s poem, ‘In My Craft and Sullen Art’. Photo: Hayley Madden for the Poetry Society.

The Poetry Society rolled out its giant centenary poem at the British Library, London, on 7 October 2009. The eye-popping, 13 x 9 metre, hand-knitted version of Dylan Thomas’s ‘In My Craft or Sullen Art’ (which can be read in full via the link on the right) stopped passers-by in their tracks and quickly drew an admiring crowd.

This crowd included knitters and crocheters who had helped to make the piece (and for whom it was the first opportunity to see it fully assembled), as well as the national press.

The poem is the work of more than one thousand knitters and crocheters worldwide, who furiously clicked needles and hooks throughout September, to turn the individual letters of Thomas’s poem into colourful 12-inch squares.

Judith Palmer, Director of the Poetry Society, commented:

“We wanted to celebrate the Society’s centenary with a fun, grand-scale project in which many people could participate, that was about ‘poetry’ but also summoned up the idea of ‘society’, to reflect all the thousands of people who’ve kept the Society going since 1909. The time, commitment and creative skills that people have given to this enterprise has been overwhelming.”

The giant knitted poem was displayed at the Southbank Centre, London, to help celebrate National Poetry Day Live, and displayed in Swansea, Thomas’s home town, at the end of October 2009. It then went on to tour the whole country.

Vital statistics:

Left to right measurement: 13 metres (43 ft) at its widest point
Top to bottom measurement: 8.7 metres (28 ft) at its widest point
Number of squares: 1000+

For more info, contact [email protected]