I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

Mr. Proofrock's Desk CalendarsI use a paper desk calendar.

When I get a new one at the start of the new year, I don’t throw away the old one.

Originally this was pragmatic (in January it’s still useful to see stuff from the previous December). Then it became funny to have a stack of them.

And then suddenly a decade went by.

And indeed there will be time

To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”

Time to turn back and descend the stair,

With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—

[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]

My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,

My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—

[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]

Do I dare Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all;

Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

I know the voices dying with a dying fall

Beneath the music from a farther room.

So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—

The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,

And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,

When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,

Then how should I begin

To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?

And how should I presume?


9 thoughts on “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

  1. I don’t use a smartphone, a Franklin Day Planner, or Outlook. Just a sextant, hourglass, cowry shells. I heard about megalithic construction as another method, but its not allowed in my community here in Massachusits. Maybe I can gert a variance? There are some asiatic methods as to burning incense of rope strands. The Hebrew calander is a bit odd, thirteen months at twenty eight days, is 364, not too shabby. Not to mention that a lunar month is about 28 days, not to mention the natural syncronization of the female reproductive area, relative to learn term cycles of nature evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. Then the chess clocks, the strange note pads carried by homeless in New York with important newspaper clippings from1947, related to for sale ads on harvesters and other farm equipment.

  2. I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
    And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
    And in short, I was afraid.

    Probably my most favorite poem of all time.

  3. Derek,

    Thanks, this caused me to go back and read the poem for the first time in years. And reminded me, don’t be THAT guy (him, not you!).

    This is not on point for thispost but I gotta put it somewhere:

    You and your readers are invited to submit items to the The Best Of! Chess Blogging Carnival. Deadline is January 27. Hit the link for more details, and please post a link on your blog or chess forum.

    Best regards,

    Robert Pearson

  4. .
    Derek has an analog chess clock, says “check” out loud in tournament games, and until recently kept score in English Descriptive notation.

    He does however move the queen and bishop more than two spaces diagonally, and often moves his pawns two squares on their first move.

    All hail progress!

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