Poetry Prompt: The Time Is


This post is part of a series of weekly found poetry prompts. If you have an idea for a found poetry source, email Senior Poetry Editor Beth Ayer. Image by nicc37.

The time at our disposal each day is elastic; the passions we feel dilate it, those that inspire us shrink it, and habit fills it.

—Marcel Proust

Our human perception of the passage of time is naturally a bit skewed, but that doesn’t mean we don’t spend our days watching clocks and inventing new forms for them. An NYU graduate student named Ross Goodwin has created a “text clock” that displays the current time by automatically pulling in public domain texts from Project Gutenberg. The Text Clock displays text from a different book in every paragraph, highlighting the current time in red. Refresh the page, and you’ll get a different set of text.


  1. Write a poem using a page of text on Text Clock.
  2. Name your poem according to the time when the page was generated.
  3. Rejoice and share.