Premium Essay

Time Betrays Us All

In: English and Literature

Submitted By afrank1126
Words 1368
Pages 6
18 February 2014
Time Betrays Us All Every day we wake up is another day to make something of ourselves. Some people think that’s a curse and wish they could just skip ahead to the good parts like skipping through scenes in a movie. Others wish they could go back and relive their glory days as head cheerleader in high school. Now, imagine if people had the chance to do that. Would the human race be better off or worse off for it? In the poem “The Purpose of Time is to Prevent Everything from Happening at Once” by X.J. Kennedy, he implies that it is a good thing life follows one specific timeline. By using prosody, imagery, and figurative language, Kennedy allows the reader to imagine life without the constraint of time and then those same devices show why we need the structure.
Kennedy sets up the stage in his first stanza by describing how life would be if time collapsed into one single moment. In Kennedy’s words, if we were to “As from your mother's womb you, bawling, drop / Into a nursing home” (3), we could go straight from birth to old age without experiencing all the life in between. Kennedy’s use of imagery in that phrase has a much larger affect than if he were to have just come out and said it. Kennedy uses visual imagery to bring his point across as if life is flashing before his eyes. There is a pretty powerful image in every line in the first octave, starting with “Suppose your life a folded telescope” (1). While Kennedy uses the word “folded” to describe the telescope, the word “bent” makes more sense. By bending the telescope so that the end meets the beginning, it puts the image of a physical timeline folding like a piece of paper front and center. By starting with that image, the next seven lines can be easily plotted on that timeline and shown just how ridiculous life would be if it was happening at the same time. In lines 2, 3, 4, and 5, the…...

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