Against the Wind of Time.

It’s been a while since I shared a poem with you all, hasn’t it? Well, we should fix that. My brother got a book of poetry for Christmas, and we found this one together. When you read it, try reading it out loud, or out loud in your head if you’re in public, and just let the sounds wash over you, before you even think about meaning.

Signature for Tempo

I

Think that this world against the wind of time
Perpetually falls the way a hawk
Falls at the wind’s edge but is motionless—

Think that this silver snail the moon will climb
All night upon time’s curving stalk
That as she climbs bends, bends beneath her—
Yes
And think that we remember the past time.

II

These live people,
These more
Than three dimensional
By time protracted edgewise into heretofore
People,
How shall we bury all
These queer-shaped people,
In graves that have no more
Than three dimensions?
Can we dig
With such sidlings and declensions
As to coffin bodies big
With memory?
And how
Can the earth’s contracted Now
Enclose these knuckles and this crooked knee
Sprawled over hours of a sun long set?
Or do these bones forget?

III

The body of one borne
Landward on relinquishing seas,
Worn
By the sliding of water

Whom time goes over wave by wave, do I lie
Drowned in a crumble of surf at the sea’s edge?—

And wonder now what ancient bones are these
That flake on sifting flake
Out of deep time have shelved this shallow ledge
Where the waves break—

— Archibald MacLeish

I love the way he describes life, “these more than three dimensional people.” With our thoughts, our dreams, our personality, we do inhabit more than three dimensions… it must seem strange to people that in the end our bodies are all that is left behind.

For me, of course, I know that these bodies are merely shells, wonderful shells, to be sure, but in the end our souls are the real essence of us, and they continue on for eternity.

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