Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
The passage of time is one of the great mysteries, and it strangely impacts our experience of everything in life. Robert Frost noted how it adds poignance to the beauties of nature; for half the haunting quality of his snowy wood was the fact that he had “miles to go” before he slept. Sometimes it is also a practical problem.
Free from the load of tent and sleeping bag,
You pay by being more a slave to time.
Measure it by watch or sun, the snag
Is there, though slopes are easier to climb.
It is the time you have to turn around
To make it back to camp or car by night.
It is a law inexorable, profound,
And it will win (though not without a fight!).
It’s best to set a time that has some play;
You cannot go but what you feel the spell.
The hidden barrier that bars your way
Asks to be pushed a bit, e’er it can quell
The voice that calls you on. It has no end,
The lure of what lies just around the bend.
C. S. Lewis noted that man’s uncomfortable relationship to time marks him as made for a larger world—do fish constantly manifest surprise at how wet water is, like we do about how time has passed? Yet without time there could be no movement, and hence no quest. I still want to know what lies around the bend—including the last Bend past which no man can see in this life. Time will tell.
Donald T. Williams, PhD
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, due out Sept. 1, 2016, from Square Halo Books!