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