Poetry Corner: To the Passing of the Year

It’s funny what you might find hidden on the shelf at the library. During the first few weeks at my new job, while perusing the literature section, I spotted an old poetry book, which probably hadn’t been checked out for a long while. After glimpsing through a few of the poems, I found that I liked the sound of them, so I checked the book out. (I probably saved it from being weeded, too). Today’s featured poems comes from this discovery, and it just so happens to meet the “New Year’s” theme.

Eternal Fruit

by Grace Noll Crowell

The minute hand of any clock
That sweeps the dial unceasingly
Is like a hand that breaks a lock
And holds the future out to me.
And yet before I reach it quite
It is the present, then the past—
Thus swift as wind by day and night
One’s brief allotted time goes past.

God help us live the minutes well;
Brief as they are, God help us bring
Rare beauty to them, help us tell
The time by some bright offering:
Some gleaning of eternal fruit
Plucked from life’s own green branch and root.


End poem. Begin my thoughts. I did not particularly look for a poem to go with the new year. It just happened. But doesn’t it just perfectly match the feeling of this time of year? When one year fades and another one beginss, I can’t help but think about the subjects that this poem describes–the rapid passing of time, for one. Future events that I seem to look forward to for so long quickly pass and fade away into memory. Before I can figure out what to do with my time, it’s gone…which is why I like the second stanza, my prayer for the new year. 2017 has passed by so quickly, and I’m sure 2018 will feel the same when it’s done with. I only hope that I use it wisely!

Happy New Year, all!




Crowell, Grace Noll. 1946. The Wind-Swept Harp. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers.

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