Warp and Weft: Aesthetics of the Poem as an Artefact of Experiences in Time

Owen Bullock, Niloofar FANAIYAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The poem has the capacity to represent moments and transitions in time, creating a time experience for the reader or listener. Just as our perspective on past and/or future events may change, the poem can accompany us through those changes, as well as seeming to halt or distort time. Our paper is a hybrid of theory and creative practice. We discuss contemporaneity of time as a theme in poetry with an example from Alistair Paterson. Poetry as a form is potentially free of the constraints of sequentiality and therefore reminds us that simultaneity is a reality. We also present two original poems. The first charts the movement of the processing of memory and projection into the future of the same event. The second explores simultaneity as a poetic structure, incorporating visual and physical elements. Both theory and performance take into account Augustine’s assertion that, ‘The present considering the past is memory, the present considering the present is immediate awareness, the present considering the future is expectation’ (Augustine 1998 Confessions XI.26.33). Poetry reminds us of the transcendent; the cognitive processing of time finds its expression mirrored in poetry, weaving representation and experience with Augustine’s three modalities of the present.
Keywords: Time, Poetry, Augustine, Alistair Paterson
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalTEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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