Live for the moment


Everything passes in time: the theme of so much poetry because that is the abiding sensation in life. We learnt the Latin tag as children: carpe diem, live for today. And as we get older, the truth of that statement becomes ever more evident. Poetry and song take us out of the moment briefly and they celebrate the fact that we can turn the passage of time into something beautiful, into something dynamic. Hence the frequency with which the rose appears in poetry, as a metaphor for beauty and fragility, the intensity of the beauty heightened by its ephemeral nature. Nothing lasts for ever, but life is a seemingly endless sequence of things or activities which do not last forever. Poetry records the moment and the feelings of the moment and it savours the moment paradoxically forever.

John Lyons