Exploring time in literature

What is Time?

The poetry of our internal rhythms

Robin Riback
Writers’ Blokke
Published in
3 min readMar 8, 2024


An hourglass full at the top with sand draining down is held by a woman who looks at it or us close up — closed horizontal window blinds are in the background.
Photo by Tasha Jolley on Unsplash

What is time? Time is measurement. Calm decades pass quickly. Difficult years are lifetimes. We mark milestones — a baby’s loose tooth, a graduation followed by a silent home, a parent’s winter death, then saplings in Spring.

Time is short yet interminable. Novels sweep me away as I traverse days, years, centuries, and eons in an hour. When I look up, the clock shocks me. It is not yet noon.

Let’s listen as 3 writers ask —

What is time?


1. Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s soothsayer cautioned Julius Caesar in 44BC —

Beware, the ides of March!

A gruesome statue made of marble shows a skeletal face with a red blood mask around its eyes.

But Caesar didn’t care. He wanted to live an ordinary day where he could soak in the baths, host a lavish dinner party, vomit, and repeat. Caesar was warned, but he had no respect for this ominous date. The Roman ruler went about his business, declaring, Whatevs in his own ancient way.

2. T.S Eliot



Robin Riback
Writers’ Blokke

I write humor self-help articles & fiction with a smudge of the dark side. Do you want to write stronger, better, faster? I can help. https://robinriback.com/