Sunday, November 1, 2015

Extra Hour

i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest . . .
i do not worry if longer nights grow longest . . .

e.e. cummings




Not by the sun’s arithmetic
or my own
can I make the days
go fast enough.
Yet there are those
who beg God daily
for an extra hour.
I wish for them no solitude,
no time apart from what they love,
and let them have their extra hour.

Rod McKuen (see also)

Last year when I posted this McKuen poem for the time change and wrote, "Yay! for the extra hour," my friend Tim responded, "I pretend every hour of this day is the extra hour! Time to get back to putting up Christmas decorations!" It's true, with Halloween over, the holidays hurtle forward!

In the next poem, try substituting Kooser's opening of "this Valentine's Day," with "this midnight of the extra hour," and suddenly it becomes perfect for the last night of Daylight Savings Time:

For You, Friend

this Valentine's Day, I intend to stand
for as long as I can on a kitchen stool
and hold back the hands of the clock,
so that wherever you are, you may walk
even more lightly in your loveliness;
so that the weak, mid-February sun
(whose chill I will feel from the face
of the clock) cannot in any way
lessen the lights in your hair, and the wind
(whose subtle insistence I will feel
in the minute hand) cannot tighten
the corners of your smile. People
drearily walking the winter streets
will long remember this day:
how they glanced up to see you
there in a storefront window, glorious,
strolling along on the outside of time.

Ted Kooser, from Valentines (see also)

To conclude, how timely that the hour change should come on Halloween Night this year! Or, more precisely, in the early hours of All Saints' Day, leading to this poem for tomorrow:

In the Elegy Season

Haze, char, and the weather of All Souls’:
A giant absence mopes upon the trees:
Leaves cast in casual potpourris
Whisper their scents from pits and cellar-holes.

Or brewed in gulleys, steeped in wells, they spend
In chilly steam their last aromas, yield
From shallow hells a revenance of field
And orchard air. And now the envious mind

Which could not hold the summer in my head
While bounded by that blazing circumstance
Parades these barrens in a golden trance,
Remembering the wealthy season dead,

And by an autumn inspiration makes
A summer all its own. Green boughs arise
Through all the boundless backward of the eyes,
And the soul bathes in warm conceptual lakes.

Less proud than this, my body leans an ear
Past cold and colder weather after wings’
Soft commotion, the sudden race of springs,
The goddess’ tread heard on the dayward stair,

Longs for the brush of the freighted air, for smells
Of grass and cordial lilac, for the sight
Of green leaves building into the light
And azure water hoisting out of wells.

by Richard Wilbur (see also)

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