Tempus Fugit – Time Flees



“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

About jjhiii24
Way back in 1973, as a young man embarking on the journey of a lifetime, I experienced what Carl Jung described as “the eruption of unconscious contents,” which compelled me to seek the path I continue to pursue to this day. The path of discovery has led me through an astonishingly diverse range of explorations in philosophy, science, and religion, as well as the many compelling ideas in the literature and scriptures of the cultures of the world. There is, in my view, a compelling thread made up of components of each, that runs through the fabric of life. The nature and study of human consciousness has been a compelling subject for me for more than twenty years. I have spent a great deal of my time and energies trying to come to terms with my own very particular “inner experience” of life, and to somehow understand how the events and flow of my temporal life have directly been influenced by the workings within. Sharing what I have come to understand about my own “Inner Evolution,” has tasked my intellect and communications skills in a big way. I am only just beginning to feel confident enough in the results of my study and contemplation to express the many various aspects of what I have uncovered within myself. I am hopeful that my own subjective and personal experience of my own “human spirit” will resonate with others, and encourage them to explore their own.

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