Each night like those before pushed up against another, as books line shelves -- or maybe they are more like lines, or fragments of lines, forming an as yet undiscerned poem on a finite page; or a piece of mere prose, or a bit of nonsense verse. Narrative or not, each night's uttered words imprint themselves, characters set in a hand fine, or shaky, or sloppy with drink; rushed, or deliberate, or contemplative. The raw nights scroll out unburnished, and I save but bits and pieces to paste together as these awkward vignettes, tattered stubs of time, evidence that I was there. Others say it better.
Time and the Garden
by Yvor Winters
The spring has darkened with activity. The future gathers in vine, bush, and tree: Persimmon, walnut, loquat, fig, and grape, Degrees and kinds of color, taste, and shape. These will advance in their due series, space The season like a tranquil dwelling-place. And yet excitement swells me, vein by vein: I long to crowd the little garden, gain Its sweetness in my hand and crush it small And taste it in a moment, time and all! These trees, whose slow growth measures off my years, I would expand to greatness. No one hears, And I am still retarded in duress! And this is like that other restlessness To seize the greatness not yet fairly earned, One which the tougher poets have discerned -- Gascoigne, Ben Jonson, Greville, Raleigh, Donne, Poets who wrote great poems, one by one, And spaced by many years, each line an act Through which few labor, which no men retract. This passion is the scholar's heritage, The imposition of a busy age, The passion to condense from book to book Unbroken wisdom in a single look, Though we know well that when this fix the head, The mind's immortal, but the man is dead.