Friday, November 04, 2011
so regain a lovely thing (Friday's Sunday's Poem/ Hot AcTOR)
Daylight Savings Time
by Phyllis McGinley
In spring when maple buds are red,
We turn the clock an hour ahead;
Which means, each April that arrives,
We lose an hour out of our lives.
Who cares? When autumn birds in flocks
Fly southward, back we turn the clocks,
And so regain a lovely thing
That missing hour we lost in spring.
About the poem: This morning, I mentioned to Sweetie that I had selected my topic for this week's POP!Best!, and Sweetie said "Is it Daylight Savings Time?"
It is not.
But that would have been a great topic, what with Daylight Savings Time ending this week, and I said so to Sweetie.
So when it came time to pick today's poem, I googled "poems daylight savings time" and found this one, which was not only a good poem, but also in the first sentence reminded me of a short story I wrote once called "Atomic Timekeeping" in which Albert, a science teacher, has a kind of existential crisis when he begins to feel that time is running out, and briefly he focuses on the fact that every year people "spring forward" and lose an hour of their lives, and they say they'll get that hour back in the fall, but then what do they do with it? Nothing.
In short, Albert concludes, we're losing an hour of our lives each year and the longer you live, the more time you've lost, and that bugs him and he begins to obsess over time.
(If that sounds like the kind of story you'd love to read, then you can certainly do so; the story is now in my collection of short stories: Just Exactly How Life Looks, and this didn't start out as an ad for that book but why miss an opportunity?)
Anyway, I chose the poem because of that, because what really do we do with that extra hour? Tomorrow night, everyone's going to turn their clocks back an hour and will anyone do anything special with your extra hour? Will you take someone out on a surprise 1 hour date? Will you opt to spend that hour, I don't know, giving yourself a break from your diet and eating that ice cream Sunday you've been craving? Will you watch a TV show you wouldn't otherwise or read a book you might have felt you didn't have time for?
I think every year, we should have Extra Hour Time and vow to do something really super-special with that hour. I don't know what I'll do yet but I'm going to do something.
About the Hot Actor: (A) I'm going to subcontract out this portion of the post every week to Sweetie, but I'll still take suggestions from you; if there's someone you think is hot, let me know and I'll post him/her/it here, because the point of the Hot person/thing is to get people to actually read poems and if posting a picture of someone hot is what it takes, then I'm willing to do that. (B) I'm removing all restrictions; it can be any age, any gender, any color, etc. (C) did you ever notice that when people are making a point about how non-racist, etc., they are, green is the go-to color for a color of person they wouldn't mind? Every nonjudgmental person in the world who wants to prove how nonjudgmental they are always says something like "I don't care what color you are, black, white, or green...". So how did we as a culture land on green as the default color for people who are not black or white? Why not purple? Why not mauve, which I'm kind of sure isn't even a color?
(D) I asked Sweetie to name the Hot Actor and she said "Um... um... I don't know. Josh Hartnett" and when I said "Why him?" she said "I don't know he's cute and I'm distracted by Mr Bunches" who I could in fact hear in the background.
But here's what I know: Josh Hartnett was in "Halloween H20" which we saw part of on TV last Saturday night and so that means that Josh Hartnett has stuck in Sweetie's mind for six whole days. That guy's got staying power, and now I feel threatened.