trying to recall a poem
September 29, 2017 2:54 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to recall a.. (semi-romantic?) poem that described an imaginary hour/time in which weird/absurd stuff happens.

It described an... imaginary (?) time (like maybe thirteen o'clock, or some hour late at night) at night (or it could have been day, but I feel it's more likely to have been nighttime), in which a lot of absurd/fantastical things happen. It lists out those absurd/fantastical events/incidents - most of the poem is spent describing these events/incidents. It ends with something like "and at XXX time, I will tell you I love you".

I read it in a book of poems years ago. Unfortunately I can't remember the book, either...
posted by aielen to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Did it have anything to do with the "witching hour"?
posted by Defying Gravity at 3:31 AM on September 29

Is it perhaps Auden's As I Walked Out One Evening? The list of absurd examples and the repeated "I'll love you" seem to fit, although there's no special imaginary time mentioned.
posted by Aravis76 at 5:38 AM on September 29 [1 favorite]

I like Aravis's suggestion. Your description made me think of Stevens' "Disillusionment of 10'Oclock" but it doesn't have the romantic aspect.
posted by correcaminos at 5:41 AM on September 29

The Children's Hour, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is probably not the poem you had in mind, but it fits the description. I remember it especially because i once translated it into Latin as a class assignment.
posted by SemiSalt at 6:09 AM on September 29 [1 favorite]

This doesn't match your description exactly, but the tone of romantic absurdity makes me think of Neil Gaiman's The Day the Saucers Came.
posted by possibilityleft at 10:11 AM on September 29

Thank you for the suggestions thus far!!

Defying Gravity I can't remember if it specifically mentioned a "witching hour"... did you have any poem in mind?

I looked at "As I Walked Out One Evening", "Disillusionment of 10 o'clock", "The Children's Hour" and "The Day the Saucers Came"... they kinda belong in the same club but sadly they aren't the poem I was thinking of.

It's longer than "Disillusionment of 10 o'clock". Maybe around the length of the other 3 poems. ...I think there was a cat (or some kind of animal, or a bunch of animals??) mentioned in the poem. (Sorry my memory is not being that useful... )
posted by aielen at 10:17 AM on September 29

oh, I think this isn't it either, but I can't resist. This is Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market"; it is creepy and suspended in time but ends with familial love and safety.
posted by correcaminos at 1:54 PM on September 29

And, um, I'm pretty sure it's not Song of the Jellicle Cats, but since you mentioned cats...
posted by correcaminos at 1:57 PM on September 29

"imaginary (?) time (like maybe thirteen o'clock, or some hour late at night)"

Like the 999th of July? Could it be "I Like You" by Sandol Stoddard Warburg?
posted by secretseasons at 7:19 PM on September 29

Oh, I know this one. It's "Tonight at Noon" by Adrian Henri. It's a lovely poem, it has stuck with me for years as well.
posted by Jelly at 4:53 PM on September 30 [4 favorites]

Jelly, I think it's "Tonight at Noon"! Thank you soooooo much!
and also thank you everyone who replied with suggestions!

I love AskMetafilter so much. I've been trying to remember this poem for (on and off) 12 years.
posted by aielen at 11:13 AM on October 2

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