Friday, December 28, 2012

Poetry Friday: Il Tempo Corre

by Linda Pastan

Sometimes it really upsets me—
the way the clock's hands keep moving,

even when I'm just sitting here
not doing anything at all,

not even thinking about anything
except, right now, about that clock

and how it can't keep its hands still.

(read the rest of the poem at The Writer's Almanac)

We play against it, set records based on it, get hit in the head with it, try to stop it or run it out, watch it...and its hands just keep moving.
clock 1 |kläk|
ORIGIN late Middle English: from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch klocke, based on medieval Latin clocca ‘bell.’ 
a mechanical or electrical device for measuring time, indicating hours, minutes, and sometimes seconds, typically by hands on a round dial or by displayed figures.
• (the clock) time taken as a factor in an activity, esp. in competitive sports: they play against the clock | her life is ruled by the clock.
informal a measuring device resembling a clock for recording things other than time, such as a speedometer, taximeter, or odometer.
verb [ with obj. ]
1 attain or register (a specified time, distance, or speed): Thomas has clocked up forty years service | [ no obj. ] : the book clocks in at 989 pages.
• achieve (a victory): he clocked up his first win of the year.
• record as attaining a specified time or rate: the tower operators clocked a gust of 185 mph.
2 informal hit (someone), esp. on the head: someone clocked him for no good reason.
around (or round ) the clock all day and all night: working around the clock.
run out the clock Sports deliberately use as much time as possible in order to preserve one's own team's advantage: facing a tie, he decided to run out the clock in the final moments.
stop the clock allow extra time by temporarily ceasing to count the time left before a deadline arrives: he agreed to stop the clock as negotiations continued.
turn (or put ) back the clock return to the past or to a previous way of doing things.
watch the clock (of an employee) be overly strict or zealous about not working more than one's required hours.
clock in (or out )(of an employee) punch in (or out).

When the clock chimes 12:00 AM on January 1, 2013, I'll shout out a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and the world. 

In the meantime, sign up for a Jan-June Poetry Friday roundup slot here

Carol has today's round up at Carol's Corner


  1. I love "compulsive timepieces." It does seem the perfect day to think of time passing and being up in the night.
    Happy New Year!

  2. "Turn back the clock" is my favorite, especially now that my little ones are teens! Pastan's personification of the clock is masterful: "how it can't keep its hands still."

    If you still need a host for next week, let me know

  3. This is a perfect poem for this week. This morning, I will head up to the hospital to visit a young woman who mentored from second grade through eighth grade. She is 22 now, and had a baby on Wednesday. I also got a Facebook message from the mother of a young woman I worked with when she was in kindergarten. Her mom wanted me to know she had just graduated from college! YIKES!

  4. I also love the nervous mischief-trouble that the line "how it can't keep its hands still" evokes.


  5. It's hard to like the idea of those hands that can't keep from moving, Mary Lee, although I know some students who just can't wait. The New Year will come, like it or not. Happy 2013 to you.

  6. Mary Lee,

    I just wanted to stop by to wish you a Happy New Year! I've been MIA from blogging much of this year. Hope to get back to posting more frequently once I'm settled into my new home.

  7. Love the idea that the clock 'can't keep its hands still!' Thanks for sharing.

  8. Have you read The Night Circus, Mary Lee? This poem made me think of their clocks, although Pastan goes to a very different place with hers.

  9. I love Linda Pastan...great choice for this week's PF! (Sounds like Pastan would like to 'clean the clock' of the clock!)

    Violet N.

  10. Yes, one thinks of all the clocks in the house whirring away all night long even as one tries to rest...there is something rather exhausting in that thought! Better not to think upon it, then, and reflect on the new year just around the corner - all the best wishes to you, Mary Lee!


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