Chronophage


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion~ Albert Einstein

 

Above concentric circles sits the pick-pocket of time;
grim, malicious grasshopper, devouring every second.
Each hour is marked by clanking chain in place of pealing chime,
golden eyelets blinking, unsuspecting future beckoned.
 

Mechanical escapement claws its way with steady tread,
creature’s constant motion eats up minutes; won’t augment them.
Though hypnotized by blood-red eyes, observers filled with dread;
 

twitching eyelid’s inward turn serves only to torment them.
As pendulum stops-stutters-starts; lights lag then race ahead;
life’s irregularities reflected in momentum.
 

Though insect never falters in persistent eerie grind,
Albert’s sound advice – go on and plunder timeless foundries.
Let go illusion’s obstacles, let waiver sit unsigned;
time quick-steps for those that choose to live inside its bound’ries.
 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Clock
 

For Paula Belli whose picture of the Corpus Clock was the spark of inspiration for this piece.
 

The form:
 

This is the Sonnet version of Stress Matrix Dectet/Stress Checkerboard Stanza – developed by Luke Prater
 

14 lines, 14 syllables per line – aBaB cDc DcD eF eF 
 

where lowercase are iambic heptameter (7 beats/stresses per line), and uppercase trochaic heptameter. This yields a perfect ‘checkerboard’ of stressed and unstressed syllables (14 x 14, equaling 196 syllables). <
 

Depending on where the Volta arrives (the ‘turn’ – resolution, or at least, change in tone, crucial aspect to a sonnet), there are 3 different stanza layouts (the rhyme-scheme stays the same).
 

If the turn comes after the first eight lines, as it does in Italian Sonnets, the layout is aBa BcDcD cDe FeF. If it comes after line ten (unique!), then it’s aBaB cDc DcD eFeF (same as English but ending on a quatrain rather than the two couplets).

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12 Comments

Filed under Stress Matrix Sonnet

12 responses to “Chronophage

  1. this is a wonderful piece…eeire…your opening lines catch ad set the stage…the grinding is rather haunting….

  2. A wonderful poem written in a really difficult format.
    “Above concentric circles sits the pick-pocket of time;
    grim, malicious grasshopper, devouring every second.”
    Perfect introduction that leads us through the workings of the clock and the reminder that time may pause or skip, but is constantly being eaten away and does not stop. Your word choice always paints such amazing pictures. Love this piece!

  3. Brendan

    Thanks for sending Time through detox, for bleaching out its dark drone, laying its compulsive manic-depressive cuckoo like the proverbial patient etherized upon a table, so that the wildness of no-time, or all-time, can be sounded, heard, deduced … Congrats on the hard work of figuring the form though personally that’s always been the rather academic part of the work, fashionable shoes cobbled to beat out exotic meters, while still the essence is unperturbed. Whatever gown you wrap it it , the poem still has more startling and inviting underwear beneath and beneath there unspeakable wonders (though we try to name them,we try). Still, the paradox of time is that we don’t get past it without wrapping ourselves somehow a meter that allows us to walk through its tick-tock hell, past a world lost inside its whorls and gavottes. This poem oversteps in order to dance with timelessness, a difficult concept and and even more difficult but essential part of the poetic.

    • ‘Still, the paradox of time is that we don’t get past it without wrapping ourselves somehow a meter that allows us to walk through its tick-tock hell, past a world lost inside its whorls and gavottes.’ – Brendan, even your critique has the deep melodic quality of your poetry. Thanks for your thoughtful feedback, I do appreciate it.

  4. Are you a Cambridge inhabitant like me?? That clock mulches past me and he really is not particularly benevolent is he?!! Your poem captures his lidless charm..

    • No I’m not Shaista, I live in South West Wales. A friend of mine took her daughter for an open day at the university and took a photograph which sparked the write. Glad you felt it was accurate.

  5. That second stanza is enough to envoke a nightmare…meant as a sincere compliment. The imagery was quite powerful. I enjoyed the poem thoroughly, and the last two lines especially.

    • Thanks Raven, I’m not sure I got the last stanza break right as it’s supposed to be before the volta and I can’t decide if that’s happening at line 11 or line 13.

  6. expatinCAT

    A wonderfully-written piece Carys. Why haven’t I come across you and your writing before? 🙂 *rhetorical* // Peter.

  7. Oh I’m quite good at hiding under the radar Peter.

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