Tempus Fugit – Time Flees

Time_Flies_by_janussyndicate

Time_Flies_by_janussyndicate

“The expression was first recorded in the poem Georgics written by Roman poet Virgil: Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum capti circumvectamur amore, which means, “But meanwhile it flees: time flees irretrievably, while we wander around, prisoners of our love of detail.” -Wikipedia

It seems impossible to me that November is nearly here again. So many thoughts have invaded my mind recently and I have been so thoroughly engaged in thinking them, that I am astonished at how quickly time seems to flee. I love that the literal translation of the phrase is most correctly “time flees,” because that is clearly how it feels.

I haven’t posted a poem for a long time, and the one that follows is apropos for several reasons, but I leave it to you, my readers, to decipher them.

This poem is a particular poetic form called a villanelle. It has its roots in Italy as a “rustic song,” derived from the word “villano,” which is an Italian word for “peasant.” As described in the Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms, a villanelle is structured as follows:

“It is a poem of nineteen lines. It has five stanzas, each of three lines, with a final one of four lines. The first line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the second and fourth stanzas. Third line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the third and fifth stanzas. These two refrain lines follow each other to become the second-to-last and last lines of the poem. The rhyme scheme is a b a. The rhymes are repeated according to the refrains.”

– Mark Strand and Eavan Boland from “The Making of a Poem.”

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“Nearly November”

“Time is fleeting,” we often say.
Our words are only marking time.
Without attention, time slips away.

In every instance, not just today,
We can speak the words or even mime,
“Time is fleeting,” we often say.

If you allow my words to sway,
In this direction your thoughts will climb;
Without attention, time slips away.

All that is born will too soon decay,
After a life both sad and sublime,
“Time is fleeting,” we often say.

You can attempt to stop it, to cause a delay,
You can mix scotch whiskey with lemon lime,
Without attention, time slips away.

It’s nearly November, no time to play,
The poet’s search goes on for rhyme.
“Time is fleeting,” we often say.
Without attention, time slips away.

© 2012 by JJHIII

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