09 June 2015

Preservation


Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
 ~ Shakespeare, from “Sonnet 18”


By any measure, time seeps in and through
us as if we each were an hour glass
ready to turn ourselves over and in-
side-out.  That’s how to replay and re-
tread if we wish to do our spring cleaning.

But some of us shake sand and dust off shoes
to walk forward and skip replay, saying
unexamined lives are worth fighting for
and someone else can wash the dishes while
we speed onward Christian soldiers till death.

And in between we poets work with words,
line them up to test their sounds and meters,
record relationships–a search for truth—
and pray our verse merits interpreters.



For Sumana's prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Time


Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast

27 comments:

rallentanda said...

I'm with Socrates on this one. The unexamined life is a life not worth living (which without the rhetorical flourish )simply means that it is an unsatisfactory life.
The second stanza ...references to the Martha and Mary parable is interesting and one I always am ambivalent about. I have always been meaning to write poem on that subject ....am never comfortable with the crusade image as a band of religious extremists...but in spite of their bad press they did change the tide of European history!
As for people reading our pearls of wisdom...well ....their interpretations could be way off....just like mine on this one:) But if someone twigs..then I say great.!

colleen said...

When we go to bed we turn the hourglass over. I often think of my mind as a snow globe needing to be shaken on occasion to stir a poetic scene. I can picture the poets you write about like the scientists of words.

Sumana Roy said...

It's good to look back, learn and grow anew...even if we deny those granules of time we can't escape the scythe...Time can't touch the life of great poets though...we are happy if our words do reach someone and kindle a light in the mind...

Mary said...

To me the first stanza speaks of how we sometimes feel the need to re-invent ourselves as we go through life. By 'turning the hourglass over' perhaps we give ourselves a new direction. Then we travel along in that direction until we feel the need to turn the hourglass over again. Unfortunately, however, the grains of time remain the same....they do not increase with the turning over.

The second stanza is interesting. Indeed there are some whose life moves on without examination. No replaying. No turning the hour glass over. Life moves at a fast pace, and hopefully the 'onward Christian soldiers' is in the 'right' direction.

And, yes, the poets write through all seasons of life. Each searches for his/her own truths. Each records his/her own journey. We each search, and in our search we hope that perhaps we will find what we seek in our words, and perhaps those 'interpreters' will find our words worthy!

I really enjoyed this poem, Susan.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

record relationships–a search for truth—
and pray our verse merits interpreters.

Poets are forever in search of truth and matter.. hoping to get their message through in their work...wishing for each and every individual to be able to interpret the message which is conveyed for their own benefit. Beautifully executed :D

Lots of love,
Sanaa

alan1704 said...

Time has its own agenda and i think you capture the randomness of actions and the effort to understand meaning, very interesting and well penned.

Old Egg said...

The hour glass gives us false confidence when it is turned over as though we can start again which of course we can't. I am not sure we even know what we are fighting for any more, feeling that I am on an express train to nowhere. Let's hope we can all write last verses like yours here.

Jae Rose said...

Oh i think it does reach its interpreters...the first verse captivated me...like an exploration of why we write - which can indeed sometimes be preservation but hopefully in time renewal...

Gillena Cox said...

im reading that that life is time by your opening Verse, and then the collection of time in your Verse2; and finally contemplation on time spent

really interesting

have a nice Wednesday

much love...

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I love the image of us lining the poems up to test them! (Smile.)

Vandana Sharma said...

lets just relish what we have and shower our emotions on our loved ones.

annell4 said...

Perhaps we are each hour glasses, and all time is recorded within us. Just turn us over...

Purba chakraborty said...

So true! Poets are never enslaved by time. They can go back and immortalize the past through words. A beautiful and thought-provoking poem :)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I especially love the closing stanza....lining up the words...and hoping for interpreters. "Write them, and they will come," LOL.............I really enjoyed this poem.

Myrna R. said...

Nice. I guess any life is worth living, but the examined life is the one that produces poets, (wrio eter or not). A poet can learn, appreciate life, and we sometimes do the dirty work of interpreting it to others. Good write Susan. I like its depth.

claireylove said...

What a beautiful opening image - it really sets up the rest of the poem beautifully :)

Unknown said...

I feel that you gave us each an hourglass on that shelf. It is what we make it - some are well tended,dusted regularly, others left to collect dust as we adventure on, others remind us time is late as we write our last stanza for the night but each is a separate entity to turn or wind.
Well done Susan

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

Susan,

I suppose no matter which barometers we may choose to try and control time, it still has the upper hand, as it slips away..The hour glass is a fine example...We are continually striving to extend the value, to be found in every 24 hours..
Eileen

kaykuala said...

But some of us shake sand and dust off shoes
to walk forward and skip replay,

The beauty of time is that it goads no one. It is just that one gets to lament and regret for not having much of it! Wonderful write Susan!

Hank

rallentanda said...

LOL ...good one Myrna !

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

timeless in time...time has its own sand grains

Sreeja said...

beautiful poem.....loved the last stanza....this one says so much.....

Hannah said...

This says so much and in the last wow...that our voices should be worthy to be read in many tongues. Powerful.

Unknown said...

Each one of us, an hour glass. So true and we are continuously recording the events and actions of life...

Beautifully done..I loved the last stanza most.... :-)

Gen Giggles said...

Very interesting ideas you've written. Great poem.

Anonymous said...

"record relationships–a search for truth—
and pray our verse merits interpreters."

This line sticks out to me, as poets we have something to say, and sometimes are unable to say it in normal language so we use the art to deliver a message of happiness, anger, sadness or pain. Sometimes people are more accepting of stronger emotions when it's in the form of art.

Intelliblog said...

Someone asked a poet once: "What does this poem of yours mean?" The poet looked at the questioner and said: "What do you think it means?" And the questioner answered, this and that and the other and so on... The poet looked at him and said: "That's precisely what my poem means!" And he repeated that last line with each different interpretation by each different reader of his poem.
We write, readers read, each interprets in his own way, that is the beauty of poetry.
(Lovely poem!)