Literature in EnglishProject Time by Allen Curnow Group Members: Farzan Saleem Ahmed Affan Wahib MohammadHasan Bin Obaid
TIME I am the nor' west air nosing among the pinesI am the water-race and the rust on railway linesI am the mileage recorded on yellow signs.I am dust, I am distance, I am lupins back of the beachI am the sums sole-charge teachers teachI am cows called to milking and the magpie's screech,I am nine o'clock in the morning when the office is cleanI am the slap of the belting and the smell of the machineI am the place in the park where the lovers are seen.I am recurrent music the children hearI am level noises in the remembering earI am the sawmill and the passionate second gear.I, Time, am all these, yet these existAmong my mountainous fabrics like a mist,So do they the measurable world resist.I, Time, call down, condense, confer,On the willing memory the shapes these were:I, more than your conscious carrier,Am island, am sea, am father, farm, and friend,Though I am here all things my coming attend;I am, you have heard it, the Beginning and the End.
First Stanza: • All the imagery in the first stanza refers to different modes of travelling (wind, railways etc.) • “air nosing ”-time is as fast as air, peeping and acknowledging everything as it is everywhere like the air. • “among the pines”-pines are thorny so this might suggest that a period of hardship which the poet or people may be going through and searching for solutions (nosing). • Water race may mean rainfall which also comes at a specific time • Rust on railway lines-if water is left somewhere for a period of time or is any object is repeatedly exposed to water then it rusts. Similarly as time passes people or things tend to undergo change and bear the markings of time (as they become aged). The poet has given an example of railway tracks which show how they are affected by time. • “Mileage recorded on yellow signs”-As time passes it leaves behind its markings (mileage recorded) which are an indicator (yellow signs) for man about how much time has passed.
Stanza two: • “dust” and “distance”-denote infinity as dust and distance are uncountable or immeasurable. “dust” also denotes that with the passage of time objects are destroyed and eventually turn into dust which shows that objects are submissive to time. • “sums sole charged teachers teach”- this suggests that though the time remains the same but it has a different perspective or unique approach for each and every person such as in this case though the sums and the time remain the same but as a student he has a different job which is learning whereas the teacher at the same situation has the responsibility to teach showing that time brings a new situation for everyone • “Cows called to milking” -points out towards a specific time period which is usually February to may. It is also a sign of happiness or joy for the poor farmers. • “Magpies screech” is a very common sound in countries where the bird is found and may be heard anywhere the writer may have compared time which in the same way is found every where • The magpies screech is also a common sign for bad luck and this may denote hard times or bad times such as suggested by the “pines”.
Stanza three: • The poet through out this stanza is laying emphasis on time being alongside all the pleasant moments of our lives. • The word “morning” evokes the picture of a new beginning and a fresh start , the poet makes us recount the fact that it is time with us when we start for a new journey or take a different fold and it is time only which gives us the chance to move on neverthless and inspite of our pasts it is always ready to let us take a new road. • The poet then talks about the slapping sound of the belts of the machine in the factory and the the peculiar smell of them in the morning this again shows that time exists in all the beginnings of life and flows in the circle of life from the beginning till the end to a new beginning. • The poet then uses the phrase such as “places in the park where the lovers are seen “ this denotes the meaning that time is all there in the joyfull moments of life for us .
Stanza four: • Through out the stanza the poet’s main focus is on the sound which concludes a major part of our lives • In this stanza the poet states that time is that one thing that is with us in our day to day, minute to minute changes and daily lives. • “recurrent music the children hear” this phrase creates a dramatic imagery of time which is even in the speech of mankind and it is that one thing which keeps on recurring and simultaneously moving with our daily routines. • “remembering ear” denotes that time exist even in the sounds our ear remembers being one of the 5 senses its effect on our lives are important and time is there in those sounds which we remember in our lives.
Stanza five: • Time surrounds everything, yet everything exists whereas time doesn’t; its only an immeasurable measurement • Even though in the above stanzas a vast list of imageries are described that are surrounded by time however according to time itself in its “mountainous fabrics” they are no more than a “mist”. • This also implies that like the mist things do not exist forever in this world and they fade away with the passage of time. • This shows time’s infinity and authority over everything.
Stanza six and seven: • “condense”-some special memories are ever absorbed or condensed in our mind as they refuse to leave. • “call down”- these memories are triggered by time and we remember them at different occasions • “willing memory”-special memories connected to our life which are linked or related by time • “more than your conscious carrier”-gives a broadened meaning; time does more than just carry us to the end of our life. • “am island”-teaches us to live independently when surrounded by different types of situations • “am sea”-teaches us to live in a controlled environment in harmony with others. • Island and sea-contradicting each other as both teach different things • “am father”-time teaches us a variety of things like a father who has had experience in this world • “am farm”-as we increase the yields of our farms by selective use, similarly through thinking we can make the best use of our time to get the best possible outcome • “am friend”-like friends support us; similarly time may also be favorable for us
Conclusively they teach us all the things we need to know in our life and survive through the passing time • Thus this proves the poet’s earlier statement that time is “more than our conscious carrier” • “here”-though time is here it is also at every corner of the world at the same time. Nothing can escape it. • “all things my coming attend”-they all submit or attend to time in their own way. This shows its authority over everything. • “you have heard it”-biblical reference; strengthens the significance of the existence of time. • “Beginning and End”-reinforces its infinity of every imaginable thing that attends to time.
Literary Devices: • I am-anaphora • Dust, distance-alliteration • Back, beach-alliteration • Sums, sole-alliteration • Cows, called-alliteration • Slap-onomatopoeia • Recurrent music, noises, sawmill-olfactory effect • Like a mist-simile • I, Time-personification • Capital T (in time), B and G (in Beginning and God)-special pausing effect • Call, condense, confer-alliteration • Place, park-alliteration • Conscious carrier-alliteration • Father, farm, friend-alliteration