Friday, March 16, 2012

Poetry Friday: Time

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In last week's Poetry Friday post, I shared a James Taylor song. A line from that song has been going through my head all week: "The thing about time is that time isn't really real."

This week time felt very real, an entity that was out to get me rather than help me. My grades were due, including narrative evaluations and conduct grades, so I was wrapping up the third quarter while starting my units for the fourth quarter. And as I was doing all that work, I was contending with Daylight Savings Time.

You have to understand, I live in the tropics. The length of the day varies very little where I live. My husband asked Mr. Google and found out that on June 21st we have 13 H 14 M 40 S of daylight, and on December 21st we have 11 H 1 M 05 S. (For comparison purposes, in Chicago the longest day is 15 H 13 M 31 S and the shortest day is 9 H 7 M 54 S.) There's really no need for Daylight Savings Time in Haiti. And most of the time we don't change time. But every once in a while we have a government that decides to be in line with our Great Neighbor to the North, and then that year we do change. I've speculated if it has something to do with an inability to get much accomplished, and the sense of achievement it must bring to be able to control the time (even though, of course, it isn't really real).

So this past weekend, when you folks in the United States changed time, we did too. Now we are getting up in the dark. Ugh! One reason for living in the tropics is not having to get up in the dark! My son began sharing melancholy memories of living in the States after the earthquake, getting up for school in winter darkness, shivering at the bus stop.

You wouldn't think that extra hour would make much of a difference. You lose an hour of sleep, and then you make up for it Sunday afternoon and you're set. But it does; I remember when my children were babies, it seemed it took them weeks to get back in any kind of rhythm. (I certainly couldn't use the word "schedule" about the babyhood of either of my children.) And this week as I've been rushing about, trying to accomplish all my tasks, I've felt like that missing hour could have made all the difference. My 9-year-old asked me, "Mom, in the fall are we going to go back to having 24 hours in every day?" I hope so, Buddy, I hope so.

One of the daily emails this week from Your Daily Poem was a poem about time.

Analog Time
Tamara Madison

Your new watch can tell
what time it is right down
to the second, the split second.
Your new watch has no face;
instead there’s a blinking grill
where the numbers change
constantly. I would like to say
that in this rapid split-second
parade we can see the flow
of time — always changing,
never changing, a river slipping
over rocks and sand – but it’s
only time, a human concept
after all, not a real river.

Follow this link to read the rest of the poem.

I especially love the end of the poem, where Madison writes:

the real tellers of time
are the sun, the sky,
the wrinkles on our faces,
the bruises on our souls.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.


Tara said...

Those last four lines are just amazing. I am not a fan of daylight's do depressing to wake up and go to work in the dark!

Janet said...

I'm not a daylight savings fan either. Just one more way we try to remake the world.

Tabatha said...

The good thing about getting up in the dark for me is that I see a lot of beautiful sunrises while I am driving my kids to school. That is my favorite part. Thanks for this poem. I hope you get on track soon!