The POTW: Verse Til It Hurts


POTW #822
(Week of 25 November, 2012)

At first I was just thinking about how charmingly silly it was that Black Friday sales started on Thursday, but then I got lost in a series of Wikipedia articles about calendars, and how cultures that all use the modern Gregorian calendar often divide up the weeks differently from each other, and I read some discussions about what different people mean when they say "this Tuesday" or "next Tuesday." I remembered an article from last year about how Samoa skipped entirely over December 30th by declaring itself to be (once again) on the other side of the International Date Line (American Samoa, about thirty miles away, did not make the change, so they now have different dates from each other). Regular readers of this forum will already be well aware of my feelings about traditional clocks and their misuse, but really, the calendar is just as problematic when it comes to coordinating our activities with people in faraway places.


When Thursday's wearing Friday's skin
And this Wednesday's not this week
We can't agree when we will have been
The calendar has sprung a leak

The months are like uneven teeth
In line but different sizes
The weird arrhythmic musical beats
A lunatic devises

When Sept is nine and Octo ten
Then everything is Greek again
(Or Latin - this is a sloppy verse
But the calendar is so much worse)

Is Sunday when the week begins?
Or is that the day it ends?
Where we divide it has various spins
And which one you use just depends

Days start off at dusk or dawn
Or in the middle of the night
Gerrymandered lines are drawn
Where you're from is which is right

And I know I said I'd have this done
In time for some appointed day
But I got lost about exactly which one
It's the calendar's fault, it led me astray

Copyright © 2012 by Dave Grossman

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