Stop all the clocks

August 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm (Uncategorized) ()

This week’s poetry bus challenge offered several options and I sat musing about what is the first thing I experience when I wake up, or rather am woken up by my alarm, and it led me off at a bit of a tangent. The first line of Auden’s poem came into my head and became the title.

Stop all the clocks, shut off that incessant din

deliberately jarring to the dormant nerves,

like an infant’s urgent cry,

and dragging from the depths of sleep

reluctant slaves to time.

Curse the man who came up with the notion

that we should abandon natural rhythms

of waking when rested and sleeping when tired,

but instead be bound to mechanical devices

that count and dictate

our comings and goings

our ups and downs

our eatings and sleeping.

Curse that luminescent green

flashing from the corner in the dark

demanding your attention

smugly judging you for the dissipation of your life

as you try in vain

to cling to the vestiges of that haven




  1. ET said,

    You have so aptly described the “Morning Sleep”…
    I really really liked it!
    “vestiges of that haven sleep” lol!

  2. Doctor FTSE said,

    A good idea to use another’s first line as a further prompt, and to work systematically through the ideas that flowed from there.

  3. Pete said,

    I’m surprised there aren’t more anti-alarm-clock poems. This one oozes bile. Wonderful.

  4. Peadar TotalFeckinEEjit O'Donoghue said,

    I like this.And yes, we should sleep when we need it, not when a bloody clock tells us to.Let’s all start tomorrow.
    Ps have you ever smashed an alarm clock with a baseball bat? I highly recommend it!

  5. padhraig said,

    Hear, bloody Hear!

  6. niamh b said,

    ah lovely stuff cfm, and a great idea to use that jumping off point

  7. Argent said,

    Absolutely right! Artifical light and alarm clocks should be banned!

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