Take Time

Malcolm Guite’s weekly or so, Spells in the Library have been a great encouragement to me and Jennifer. One of the things which either happens or I imagine happens is that Dr Guite colloquially speaks in iambic pentameter. So many good and curious expressions roll off his tongue, and I find it delightful. One such instance occurred yesterday with a couple of sentences. In speaking of his library and the chaos of which has come…again, he says, “The sheer untidiness tells a story; all of these things have been gotten out and used…Then another necessity has hastened upon it. There’s time to take things out and to read them and reflect on them. But tragically there is no time to put them away.”

Here’s to taking time to reflect, and for allowing a little chaos to come again. I couldn’t help but responding with a verse which I hope does not offend, but it is rather and attempt to share every good thing with his teacher.

You may listen to me read the villanelle via the player below.

There’s time to take things out, read them all day
Time for your fingers to walk through the leaves,
But sadly no time to put them away.

The sheer untidiness tells of the way
Books beg to be browsed as flowers are bees
Who wouldn’t want time to read them all day?

They all have their place, you know where they stay
But urgency demands you follow its lead
And now there’s no time to put them away.

Words transport, longing carries one away
To the spice-laden lands born by their breeze;
How can one help but not read them all day?

Time! It’s time to go! Out! Into the fray!
You’re late! You can’t just do as you please!
'Sorry, Dear. Must go. Can’t put them away.'

Busy at your desk, you hear children play
Over and over sing, “Take up and read.”
Obey. Give them time. Read them all day.
Better than take time to put them away.

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