Clocks slay time… 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
Our clocks rolled back an hour this weekend. Time shifted, and we talk of gaining an extra hour – to sleep, to enjoy on the weekend day, to spend as we wish, this extra hour. We moved time.
After seeing the movie Anonymous last weekend, I have been revisiting some favorite Shakespeare sonnets, so for my Monday moments today, I thought I’d share one of my favorite ones with you:
Sonnet 12: When I do count the clock that tells the time
by William Shakespeare
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 silvered 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.
Another favorite poet of mine is T.S. Eliot, and one of my favorite passages is the opening of “Burnt Norton,” the first of the “Four Quartets” series. Eliot wrote this series while working on Murder in the Cathedral, and the focus is on questions of time and salvation. It goes on for much longer than what I’ve included here, but this opening is the part I like best.
(No. 1 of ‘Four Quartets’)
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
How did you spend your extra hour when time moved this weekend?