Allen Curnow is New Zealand's most important poet. He believed in living literature. He once said, "You can't write literature, you can't paint art".
The poem "Time" is in the first person. Here "Time" speaks for itself. Thus the poem is time's autobiography. Time is everywhere. It is in the northwest monsoon blowing through the pine forests. It is a dynamic like the racing water and static like the unused rails on which trainsdon't run. It is also static dynamic like the mileage written on yellow boards. Thus time keeps others moving towards their destinations, though static itself in the form of a mileage board.
Time is the dust which fills the entire road. It is like lupine found along beach. It is what keeps the class going-the sums taught by the teacher in-charge of a class. It is like the cows about the yield milk and the music of the magpie. It marks the beginning of work in a clean office. Its activity is seen when belts are fitted to machine noisily. The smell emanating from the machines at work, indicate time in full swing. Time keeps the lovers busy talking and thus it is compared to a park.
Whenever children remember heard tunes or when haunting melodies are remembered time is at work. Even the sawmill represents times activity. When the car driver applies the second gear, it is because he wants to hurry, as he is conscious of time.
But, time which dominates all worldly activities really is beyond all these. It is a huge force and all these wordly activities are like a mist in a mountain. The world is measurable, but time is immeasurable transcendental. Time is also memory. It is because of time that we remember everything. Time does not consciously carry man. It is like an island, offering man living place. It is like man's father and friend. Everything obeys time. In fact time is the alpha and the omega, of existence.
The poem is in the form of an address, where time addresses man. Time is a force, simultaneously passive and dynamic. It is all pervasive. It is a life-driving force. If there is no time, there is no existence.
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