Sunday, April 29, 2012

A poem by Howard Nemerov

The fast pace of modern life with all the technological advances that come with it is something that everyone can benefit from. And yet in another sense, at times a fast life can seem so unfulfulling that we feel like victims. Here is a poem that addresses stillness in the face of our speedy pace and the fact of our destiny in it.


You see them vanish in their speeding cars,
The many people hastening through the world,
And wonder what they would have done before
This time of time speed distance, random streams,
Of molecules hastened by what rising heat?
Was there never a world where people just sat still?

Yet they might be all of them contemplatives
Of a timeless now, drivers and passengers
In the moving cars all facing to the front
Which is the future, which is destiny,
Which is desire and desire's end -
What are they doing but just sitting still?

And still at speed they fly away, as still
As the road paid out beneath them as it flows
Moment by moment into the mirrored past;
They spread in their wake the parading fields of food,
The windowless works where who is making what,
The grey towns where the wishes and the fears are done.

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