It’s that time of the year again

December 31, 2015 at 5:42 pm (literature, poetry, Rosie B, song, Uncategorized)

This time of year when we think of time passing.

Enter CHRONOS, with a scythe in his hand, and a great globe on his back, which he sets down at his entrance

CHRONOS
Weary, weary of my weight,
Let me, let me drop my freight,
And leave the world behind.
I could not bear
Another year
The load of human-kind.

From Dryden’s The Secular Masque

Written for the seventeenth century rolling over to the eighteenth. It has the New Year resolution flavour about it at the end:-

All, all of a piece throughout;
Thy chase had a beast in view;
Thy wars brought nothing about;
Thy lovers were all untrue.
‘Tis well an old age is out,
And time to begin a new.

2012AA41840

The Three Ages of Man by Titian in the National Gallery of Scotland

A poem which fits the weather as well as the time of year and one of my favourites by Thomas Hardy, who wrote beautifully about time passing and opportunities missed:-

During Wind and Rain

They sing their dearest songs—
He, she, all of them—yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

And brightest things that are theirs. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.

Time, time, time
See what’s become of me
While I looked around for my possibilities
I was so hard to please
But look around Leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter..
Look around, leaves are brown,
There’s a patch of snow on the ground

(Simon & Garfunkel – they were young things when that came out)

Who knows where the time goes? Sandy Denny, who died far too young.

And from he who was born middle-aged:-

Chard Whitlow by ”T S Eliot”

As we get older we do not get any younger.
Seasons return, and today I am fifty-five,
And this time last year I was fifty-four,
And this time next year I shall be sixty-two.
And I cannot say I should like (to speak for myself)
To see my time over again— if you can call it time:
Fidgeting uneasily under a draughty stair,
Or counting sleepless nights in the crowded Tube.

From The Hobbit – one of the riddles

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

Answer:- Time

And a picture from the 1976 Soviet edition of The Hobbit.

Hobbit

Have a good time while we mark time passing.

9 Comments

  1. Mike Killingworth said,

    Many thanks, KB. And Happy New Year.

    • kb72 said,

      And Happy New Year to you.

  2. les said,

    There is a Hand to turn the time,
    Though thy Glass today be run,
    Till the Light hath brought the Towers low
    Find the last poor Preterite one . . .
    Till the Riders sleep by ev’ry road,
    All through our crippl’d Zone,
    With a face in ev’ry Mountainside
    And a Soul in ev’ry stone

    Thomas Pynchon

  3. Jim Denham said,

    Wonderful stuff, Rosie: happy New Year!

  4. Pinkie said,

    http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.co.uk

    has a nice bit of Gramsci on new year.

    • kb72 said,

      Bit of a grumpy Puritan, that Gramsci bloke. Like the smug git who says, why should we only have goodwill at Christmas? Every day should be full of goodwill. So there!

      For our “silly ancestors” – I call “tradition”. Tradition is the democracy of the dead.That you stop at one point and take stock. That you do something communally.

      The Celts have six marked seasonal festivals & they acknowledge change – profound changes in a northern European climate.

      And here’s a kick-ass defence of the public celebration of New Year – admittedly in Sydney, Australia.

      http://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-daily-telegraph-sydney/20151231/281784218065835/TextView

      • m_jelly (@monsieur_jelly) said,

        written by james morrow – an extereme liberatrian rightoid cuntwitt. one time sppechwriter for the scum LNP filth). The artickle is In the australian Telegraph – (think The Daily Star without any intellect). and he talks shite about new year’s in sydney as well. It’s shite and monetized piss. It’s even worse than edinburgh.

  5. m_jelly (@monsieur_jelly) said,

    evidence for prosecution here http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jan/03/nye-above-the-harbour-organisers-apologise-for-500-a-head-party-flop mind you anyone who falls for that sort of shite deserves everything they don’t get. fuckwitts.

  6. februarycallendar said,

    “Hazy Shade of Winter” always reminds me of the flat in which my mother’s parents lived out their last years (in a retirement home on the site of a long-closed railway station) – bafflingly, it isn’t on their Greatest Hits, the vinyl of which used to play so often in my childhood home on gapingly long summer evenings, so its reissue at Christmas 1991, when I was listening to the Top 40 while we were seeing them (before a voluminous train journey in which the world seemed bigger, longer, than I’d known it until then), was the first time I’d ever heard it. Which seems to fit, and make sense, now that both are long gone (voices of old people, indeed).

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