Should Time be of No Consequence

August 9, 2005

Should time be of no consequence, and then
there be sufficient hours in the day
to fritter, waste and still have time to spend
on work — productive work — and useful play.
What would life be if we could play with time,
could make an hour short or minutes stretch?
If time could be elastic, we could prime
our day with pleasure, before time can etch
its passage on our faces. But instead
we make of time an enemy, and rue
its passage as a loss; we beg and plead
for every single moment we pursue.
We watch our time run out, we live our fears.
Imagine if we could make seconds, years.


  1. Nicely put together. I’m having trouble with the grammar of the first sentence/first four lines, though. Poetry doesn’t have to follow the usual rules of grammar but sonnets often do.

    I especially like “If time could be elastic, we could prime/our day with pleasure.” A delicious phrase.

  2. Andrew, I do understand the issue with the first stanza. The “should” here is meant with the meaning “if” rather than “it would be nice”. Another way to read it would be to say, “If time were of no consequence and then / there were sufficient hours in the day…” I was purposefully going for an older form of language, since the piece is meant to be a sonnet (of the Shakespearean variety) and wanted to harken back with my opening language choice.

  3. Thoughtful prose. So many are of that opinion. Reminds me a bit (in thought, not style) of the late Jim Croce’s song “Time in a Bottle.”

  4. I like this poem. I’m forever berating myself for wasting time. This reminds me that in doing so, I just waste more of it!

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