“I Bought A Long Case Clock” – A Sonnet

A couple of years ago I got thinking about the grandfather clock I had picked up at an auction for not too much money.  It was a beautiful thing; built around 1820, slender and delicate, with the most gentle sound of a bell, like a ghost of time, marking out the hours.  It got me thinking about time and how it holds the universe together, and in that daydream I had the idea for this sonnet.  I hope you like it.

PS: I still don’t think I’ve got the final line right, so am working on it!

I Bought A Long Case Clock

I bought a long case clock, whose motive weight

through wheels, escapement, pendulum and gears

spins time with gravity. Now contemplate

how Time has Weight to mark our passing years;

how gravity’s a mystery whose effects

are seen in Heaven’s Movement and the Tide –

revealed by bending starlight, it directs

unseen: forever present, yet implied;

how Time’s the precondition for the chain

of causes linking future, present, past;

and how this impulse secretly sustains

our World: it was the first, it will be last.

All this my clock provokes: how this machine

the Infinite implies…

…and hands unseen

Copyright (c) 2010 Matthew Wingett in all media


  1. Sadia in Los Angeles


    It’s lovely.
    Reminds me of John Keats (quite possibly the Best Poet Ever).
    I came to your site to read Maha’s article, and am so happy to read your work.
    You might enjoy a blog that a friend of mine writes…

    Best regards,

  2. Post

    Hi Sadia,

    Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, but what with Christmas and all that…

    I took a look at the blog you recommended, and WHAT A GREAT WRITER Elizabeth Collier Denton is. Lovely fresh style and an inquisitive mind. I will keep an eye on it from time to time.

    Anyway, thanks for your great comments. I have it in mind to write a series of sonnets… so comparing me to Keats is certainly something that a) I don’t deserve, and b) adore.

    Thank you, and Happy New Year.

    And remember: Life Is Amazing!

    Matt Wingett

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