In preparation for day three of my blog challenge, I was thinking about what my favourite quote is. I realized there are so many that I will struggle to pick just one. Whilst I was thinking, however, I remembered a poem I read years ago while studying for my English Literature pre-degree. The poem was called “Mean Time” by a famous poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. I think it is one of the most genuinely melancholy poems that is written with a complete absence of melodrama. It speaks of the kind of regret we can all relate to – saying things in the heat of the moment that we shouldn’t have.
I have copied it for you here, because I think it’s incredible.
by Carol Ann Duffy
The clocks slid back an hour
and stole light from my life
as I walked through the wrong part of town,
mourning our love.
And, of course, unmendable rain
fell to the bleak streets
where I felt my heart gnaw
at all our mistakes.
If the darkening sky could lift
more than one hour from this day
there are words I would never have said
nor heard you say.
But we will be dead, as we know,
beyond all light.
These are the shortened days
and the endless nights.
For anyone in countries that doesn’t use Daylight Saving Time, the author of this poem uses the concept of the clocks going back – and the nights becoming long and dark – as something of a metaphor for her sadness. The second stanza is my favourite.
I truly don’t know why this poem came to me tonight. I just remember how it affected me, even as a seventeen year old. I’m not even much of a poetry fan to be honest. I enjoy reading those I come across, but I wouldn’t sit down on a rainy afternoon with a book of poems to while away a few hours. Still, I won’t analyze it. The arts are meant to captivate and inspire us, and this poem did for me.
Hope you liked it! Day 3 of the 31 Day Blog Challenge tomorrow!