Over time

Post photo: stopwatches | © Pixabay

The time actually right now the A topic that not only has to make everyone aware of their own transience, but should concern us humans the most because of its scarcity, but not with how best to kill it, but how to use it optimally for yourself.

To start, I'll quote an old saying.

It is not the river that flows, but the water. Time doesn't pass, we do.

Chinese proverb

Above all professionally, I often had to deal with the topic of "time" in a very existential way, since time is one of the essential criteria of my job, and ultimately one of the all-important ones.

Surprisingly, this knowledge, which is thousands of years old, has not generally been able to assert itself, and a waste of time even beats the equally unrestrained and senseless consumption of our nature and environment.

As an introduction to a small collection of suitable poems on the subject, which should not only delight you, but also encourage you to ponder further, I present a poem by Gottfried Keller, who already expressed the whole thing very successfully in 1849 in the following early version of his poem.

The time doesn't work

Time doesn't go, it stands still
We pass through them;
she is a caravanserai,
We are the pilgrims inside.

Something shapeless and colourless,
that only takes shape
where you dive up and down
Until you melt again.

A drop of morning dew glistens
In the ray of sunlight –
A tag can be a pearl
And a hundred years - Nothing!

It's a white parchment
The time and everyone writes
With his best blood on it
Until the river drives him away.

To you, you wonderful world,
You endless beauty!
I'll write a short love letter
On this parchment.

I'm glad I showed up
in your round wreath;
As a thank you, I won't cloud the source
And praise your splendor!

Masha Kaleko put it in the following words.

Die Zeit steht still

Time stands still. It is we who perish. 
And yet, when we blow by in the train, 
shines house and field and herds that graze, 
rushing past us like a phantom. 
Then someone beckons us and disappears as in a dream, 
with house and field, lamppost and tree. 

This is how the landscape of our lives blows 
past us to another star 
and is already far away from us as we draw near. 
We try in vain to stop them 
and know well that all this is only a deception. 

The landscape remains, meanwhile, our train 
travels the miles allotted to him. 

Time stands still. It is we who hasten. 

Erich Kaestner summarized it succinctly as follows.

The Two Commandments

Love life and think of death!
Step aside proudly when the hour comes.
having to live once
is our first commandment.
to live only once
is the second.

Ludwig Uhland remained as profound on this subject as almost always.

In a log book

Time, in its flight, does not merely graze
The flowers of the field and the beauty of the forest,
The splendor of youth and the fresh strength:
Their worst robbery strikes the mind.
Which was beautiful and noble, rich and divine
And worth every work, every sacrifice,
She shows us so colorless, hollow and small,
So vain that we ourselves are annihilated.
And yet we are well, if the ashes are faithful
The spark cherishes when the deceived heart
Does not tire of glowing again!
The real thing is just this glow,
The picture is higher than its subject,
Appearance more essence than reality.
He who only sees the truth has lived;
Life is like the stage: there as here
When the deception fades, the curtain must fall.

Eugene Roth is a little more lenient with us.

life leader

We see it with much chagrin
everything you have to experience;
and yet everyone is keen
that he still has a lot to experience.

We all rise quite cheerfully
up on our ladder of life:
The good we liked to enjoy
these are the firm rungs of the ladder.
The bad - we hardly notice -
is nothing but empty space.

Ernest Christopher Dowson summarized his knowledge in 1896 in the following words and used the old one Hours .

Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam

The brief sum of life forbids us the hope of enduring long. (Horace)

They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate:
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.

They are not long,
The days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.

Previously was already Edgar Allan Poe succeeded in writing the following wonderful poem.

A dream within a dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
So much let me avow –
You are not wrong, who deems
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep – while I weep!
Oh god! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
Oh god! I can't save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe (narrative Orson Welles)

Johann Gottfried Herder then phrased it as follows:

A dream, a dream is our life
on earth here.
Like shadows we float on clouds
and we fade away
And measure our sluggish steps
by space and time.
And are and don't know
in the middle of eternity.

Previously had already Andrew Gryphius so made up his mind.

It's all vain

Wherever you look, you see only vanity on earth.
What this one builds today, that one tears down tomorrow:
Where cities still stand now, there will be meadows,
On which a shepherd's child will play with the flocks.

What is still blooming magnificently will soon be trampled on.
What throbs and defies now will be ashes and bones tomorrow,
Nothing is eternal, no ore, no marble.
Now happiness smiles at us, soon complaints thunder.

The glory of high deeds must perish like a dream.
Should the game of time, the easy man, endure?
Oh! What is all this that we consider precious,

As bad vanity, as shadow, dust, and wind;
As a meadow flower that you won't find again.
Nor does a single person want to contemplate what is eternal!

Joachim Ringelnatz found the following words for the topic.

To a grave

A wind, kindly fanning,
Let leaves and tears blow away.
receive once smiling,
who looked after you crying.

been, not forgotten;
Remembered, but forgiven.

what seemed to us possession,
none of us owned
At most it was only borrowed.

Eugene Roth sees the whole situation a little more relaxed and with the necessary pinch of humor. This poem is taken from the volume “Sämtliche Menschen”, which I would like to recommend to everyone for further reading.

At the table of life

A person would still like to have a good time,
But things get uncomfortable at the table:
Already waiting for his place to eat
The next generation,
With a large spoon, a pointed fork,
Sharpening the knife like the beak.
The man who - what is still unforgettable! –
Some tough stuff eaten into it
And who has often had enough
would have liked to have a good time right now,
Where it is temporarily better –
Yet he looks at the new eaters
Not without deep emotion to:
He sees the lovely delusions of youth,
who dares to eat,
What he, as an old man, can no longer digest,
He voluntarily moves to the corner
And drinks away his last scoop.
"Because," he says to himself modestly wisely:
“Much or little was – enough!
This one is not unmixed either
The joy of life served up.
Don't give God too big chunks -
let them happily crouch together,
Until the next ones come,
Which I also – temporarily – took.
Fed - paid: now I'm even
And wish you bon appetit!”

Ronald Stuart Thomas finally summed it up as follows:

I think that maybe
I will be a little surer
of being a little nearer.
That's all. Eternity
is in the understanding
that that little is more than enough.

And finally I quote John wilkes, from the 18th century, mind you, with a note from Friedrich Rückert.


Life can little more supply,
Than a few good fucks, and then we die.

Time never stands still...

Time never stands still
the moment floats away
and that you didn't use
you didn't live it.

#time #poem #life

"Time is the most valuable thing a man could spend."

Theophrastus, quoted from Diogenes Laërtius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (1915:186)