Monday, July 30, 2007

Time


"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."
-T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot (1888–1965) Burnt Norton (Four Quartets)

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
...A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance..."
-Ecclesiastes 3 (King James Version)

"Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire."
-Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986)
“A New Refutation of Time,” Labyrinths (1964)

"Time, you old gypsy man,
Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?"
-Ralph Hodgson (1871–1962)

"A moment in time but time was made through that moment: for without the meaning there is no time, and that moment of time gave the meaning."
-
T.S. Eliot,“Choruses from ‘The Rock’"

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.”
-Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (1832–1898)
Through the Looking-Glass, “Tweedledum and Tweedledee” (1872).

5 comments:

Clay Burell said...

I have to play on this one. Slaughterhouse Five plays with time, but not succinctly enough for a neat quote. Still, the closest I can find:

"Billy Pilgrim says that the Universe does not look like a lot of bright lights to the creatures from Tralfamadore. The creatures can see where each star has been and where it is going, so that the heavens are filled with rarefied, luminous spaghetti. And Tralfamadorians don't see human beings as two-legged creatures, either. They see them as great millipedes - 'with babies' legs at one end and old people's legs at the other,' says Billy Pilgrim."

diane said...

Clay,

I love it!

I toyed with the idea of adding some rock lyrics, but most of them are depressing. I did sort of tie in the Byrds' "Turn, Turn, Turn".

The word "time" doesn't appear in the lyrics, but, if I were in a blue funk and pondering time running out, I'd include "The End" by the Doors:

"This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
Ill never look into your eyes...again

Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some...strangers hand
In a...desperate land"

I'm just a counterculture flower child hiding in a grown-up shell.

dancing librarian said...

Then there's my favorite from Eliot:

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
- The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock, 1917

diane said...

As you may have guessed, T.S. Eliot is one of my favorite poets, and "The Love Song..." my most often re-visited poem.

When I was a college student, spending the summer at Oxford university, I visited Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey, where I found this:
"The communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living" - Epitaph on the memorial to T.S.Eliot.

Cathy Nelson said...

You MUST stop this encouragement. Now I may dream about Stonehenge tonight.