Little Clock

for Gertrud Widmayer, my landlady at Heidelberg

Why in pensive ticking, silent thoughts
You wile your time away
When all around huge swelling bells
Toll the days away!

Every hour that announced may go
Your silent hands take hold
And though the ages chimed in ears
Yours they never behold.

If all the clocks the world had known
Had struck one strong big note,
They would never still your plodding tone
Nor the working hearth you alert.

Do you wonder, wonder, little clock
What makes the grandfather tick!
Or his aching belly in the depth of sorrow
Cries to the world it's sick!

Thirty million years and Pleistocene dark,
They are one split second short!
And whimpering suns that rise and flop
Have scarce stolen your tick or thought!

So, my little clock, my faithful clock
When I hear the tall town bell,
I'll shrug my shoulders, one tiny moment
And know that all is well.

T. Wignesan

If I might be allowed to say so, I think my "first" love was poetry. Unfortunately for me, the British curricula at school did not put me in touch with the Metaphysical Poets, nor with the post-Georgian school. Almost all the school texts after World War II contained invariably Victorian narrative poems and some popular examples of Romantic poetry. I chanced upon a selection of T. S. Eliot's and Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and a little later on Pope's An Essay on Man and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. That did the trick. Yet, I regret not having taken to prose in earnest earlier than the publication of my first collection: Tracks of a Tramp (1961). There's nothing like trying your hand at all kinds of prose exercises to come to grips with poetry. Or rather to see how poetry makes for the essence of speech/Speech and makes you realise how it can communicate what prose cannot easily convey. I have managed to put together several collections of poems, but never actually sought to find homes for them in magazines, periodicals or anthologies. Apart from the one published book, some of my sporadic efforts may be sampled at of Poems.htm

Last updated July 05, 2016