Poem Surprise: Time 12:05 in the Afternoon

07 Feb

1:08 p.m. — Atlanta

Hello!  I am occasionally so swept away by a prompt that I write a poem in under an hour rather than my usual month to two months (years?). Misky tipped me off to the prompt and this is the best way to tip you off, without having to wait until next Friday’s roundup.

Get yourself over to the Found Poetry Review. Even if you do not like writing found poems, go. FPR has a link to one of the coolest things I have seen: a text clock that displays the current time by automatically pulling in public domain texts from Project Gutenberg.

If you look at the text clock page, you will know what type of thing I started with. I chose to write an erasure poem and the words and phrases come from each paragraph.

Erasing Time

He called the hunter time, acknowledged
one consolation: no change, nothing
since, with troubled eyes, he watched,

unable to understand the power,
the figure in the corner, unpinning
the beauty of her face where each voice

chimed the curfew, the swallows
and the herons slept, the ferns and wild
hyacinths damp with evening dew,

and the summer starlight was the silence
of coming night. No sound broke the stillness,
save the song of the grasshopper.


Posted by on 07/02/2015 in poems, poetry


Tags: ,

9 responses to “Poem Surprise: Time 12:05 in the Afternoon

  1. julespaige

    07/02/2015 at 2:07 pm

    Alrighty then…that is an interesting link! One could do the same with any book in their possession.
    But it is interesting to see the ‘free books’ section too.

    Erasing Time… seems like it would be a good title for a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode.
    Nicely done.

    • margo roby

      07/02/2015 at 4:16 pm

      Not exactly. Each unit of time is pulled from a different book. It’s the clock that’s cool, not the source as a source of erasures. For that, yes, any book.

  2. Hannah Gosselin

    07/02/2015 at 4:22 pm

    Love the title and I couldn’t escape the thought…he called the hunter: Time …the third and fourth stanzas that get into nature specifics tickle my fancy and I love the echoing close with the singular sound of the grasshopper. What an awesome poem, Margo!! 🙂

    • margo roby

      07/02/2015 at 6:01 pm

      Hannah, you called my favourite line! This was a fun exercise.

      • Hannah Gosselin

        07/02/2015 at 6:34 pm

        Nice!! My poetic ear is working then! 🙂 I’ll have to give it a look…I’ve been running on drive-by mode with house guest…normalcy will be so sweet when it returns.

  3. Misky

    07/02/2015 at 5:01 pm

    Gorgeous, and I love the way you thread the stanzas together. I did another at

    • margo roby

      07/02/2015 at 6:02 pm

      I really enjoyed this and may do several more, that won’t be posted because I’ll be submitting them to FPR!

      I saw your second. The possibilities are endless, aren’t they?!

  4. spacedlaw

    09/02/2015 at 2:16 am

    Isn’t that prompt most addictive?

    • margo roby

      09/02/2015 at 9:16 am

      Thank you, and yes. I keep it on an open tab.


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