Poetry and Time Management

I can remember the days when I sat in school analysing the poetry of far away people in far away places. Some of them had strange Russian, German and sometimes more familiar English names. Much of that poetry remains forgotten to me. However, there were a few poems that I took home with me, took to heart and they still live within me.

I love poetry. Although the popularity of poetry reading nowadays for leisure is debatable, I think it is an invaluable part of literature. One of the best quotes about poetry I know is by Paul Negri. He said; “Poetry is the art of compression, of saying in a few well-chosen words, enhanced with rhythm and musicality of language, what might take many more words to express – far less memorably – in prose.”

That is why music lyrics are sometimes so powerful. They are merely a form of poetry. In my reading and writing of poetry, I did it out of passion. I am a writer at heart. Recently I have learnt, more and more, that the practising of my craft has a purpose. That purpose is to send out a message. One of those messages made it into a classroom and to a few high school students in Kugel High School Holon in Israel. I became one of those far away writers, in a far away place and with a strange name. I laugh when I think of how my name could have been mispronounced but I smile when I realise that an educator took the time to select my poem and include it in his/her curriculum.

Maybe my poem’s message was learnt and understood and perhaps it was taken home by some student, re-read and it made a difference. As a writer, that is an honour. My time was well spent.

Below is part of the worksheet in which my poem, Time Manager was analysed in conjunction with one of my favourite poems, Count That Day Lost by Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot).  Please see the poem in order to better understand the context.

Worksheet 4

Count That Day Lost – Bridging Text and Context – Activity 1

The way we live each day ultimately makes up the lives we live and the people we become. The poem Count that day lost is a poem relating to this issue. The poem was written by Mary Ann Evans (under the pseudonym George Eliot) in an era when being a female writer was not easy. However, Eliot wanted to make a difference and make people think about the social injustice of her time, the responsibility they should take and the moral choices they must make, in order to create a better society.

Here's another poem I found on the net, that relates to how you spend your day. It's a poem about the meaning of time management:

Time Manager 

I am a Time Manager
A rich one at that
Because every day I receive
A lump sum budget of
86,400 seconds!

I may do with them as I please
But with every
I lose one
Never to return or be replaced.

28,800 of them
At most
Are spent in dreams.

9,000 taken up by the mundane
Time used to think.

The balance I must organize
And prioritize
So that I know
What I’ve done so far
What I’m doing after
But, most of all what’s happening now.

12,600 dedicated to silly games and fun
Because the child in me can never die!

21,600 dedicated to strength in sales
And making money
Because we all know
children are expensive.

14,400 of active learning
And planning
So that I get it right.
Although I always discover something new
With every day’s plight.

The schedule’s in my mind
And not on a wall.

It’s quite overwhelming
But I know I must see it through
Because I’m not Time’s employee
But a manager
Time works for me!

© Maja Dezulovic 2011

How does this poem relate to Eliot's poem? How does it reflect the issues that Eliot wrote about?


Here is another poem I wrote around the same time in relation to how we choose to spend our time.

Reasons Why I Cannot Sleep

I'm thinking...
What have I done today?
Was my day well spent?
Can I look back and say: "Hey! I did that!"
Can I recall a smile?
Did I touch a lonely heart, even if for only a short while?
Is there at least one thing I can point to?
Or is failure the reason I'm feeling so blue?

I'm wondering...
Was this day worthwhile?
Did I even try?
Did I love, did I say it and did they see?
Is there something to prove that I was alive?
Did I do what I set out to?
Am I twenty-four hours closer to my dreams?
Or... Did I sleep?

Was I dreaming...
It was all a painful haze,
I was running, chasing hallucinations through a never ending maze!

What did I do today?
Truth be told, I cannot say.
I do not remember anything.
I just know that I'm exhausted and all which I did -
it meant nothing! No thing! Not a thing!

So, no!
I cannot sleep.
Although it is already tomorrow,
I cannot relax from no effort.
I must work for the sleep.
One cannot rest from sloth.

So, I'll do something now.
When my body sleeps,
then my mind can say that it is okay.
"You can sleep now.
The monsters of lethargy have been set astray..."

© Maja Dezulovic 2011

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