What you do with time is what a grandmother clock does with it: strike twelve and take its time doing it. You’re the clock: time passes, you remain. And wait. Waiting is what happens to a snow-covered garden, a trunk under moss, hope for better times in the nineteenth century, or words in a poem. For poetry is about letting things grow moldy together, like grapes turning into wine, reality into preserves, and hoarding words in the cellar of yourself.
From The Plural of Happiness: Selected Poems of Herman de Coninck, translated by Laure-Anne Bosselaar and Kurt Brown, Oberlin College Press, © 2006. Reprinted with permission of Oberlin College Press.