Thursday, April 19, 2012

Two Poems about Time

Sonnet #12

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silver'd o'er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

from Sonnets by William Shakespeare


"Father said clocks slay time. He said time is dead
as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels;
only when the clock stops does time come to life."
- William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

Time is dead -- frozen in a place we
cannot reach, forever placed beyond
our being.

Time is place -- being our
desires and fears, passions and tears.
What is the source of our being?

Can we know what we are as the birds depart,
gone with the leaves?
We are left with the frozen crystals of ice --
a replacement for life.

The perfection of a a triangle is like our being.
But where can we find that perfection?
Is it only an imaginary construct?

We see in movement
the source of being, place and time.
Do not we change,
and in our changing become?

We become the thing we were not before.
We create our being. We are alive
with motion and change and being.

from Geography Lessons, January 1994 (2004) by  James Henderson

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