New Year’s Day 2021

“As wave is driven by wave
And each, pursued, pursues the wave ahead,
So time flies on and follows, flies, and follows,
Always, forever and new. What was before
Is left behind; what never was is now;
And every passing moment is renewed.”

― Ovid, Metamorphoses


Elder Olson (1909-1992), American poet, teacher and literary critic. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. He became a founder and leading figure of the “Chicago school” of literary criticism. In 1942, he started teaching at the University of Chicago as an assistant professor in the Department of English.  In 1955 he was presented with the Poetry Society of America Chap-book Award. He gained full professorship in 1955 and was named Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English in 1973. His poetry collections include Thing of Sorrow, Collected Poems, and Last Poems.

To read Elder Olson’s poem, “Pavan for the New Year” click

Pavane for the New Year

(from December, 1948)

by Elder Olson

Soul, plucking the many strings
Of my limbs like puppet’s, make them dance,
Dance, dance, in sombre joy,
That after all the sullen play
The old world falls, the new world forms.

A thought like music takes us now,
So like, that every soul must move,
Move in a most stately measure,
And souls and bodies tread in time
Till all the trembling towers fall down.

And now the stones arise again
Till all the world is built anew
And now in one accord like rhyme,
And we who wound the midnight clock
Hear the clock of morning chime.


“Pavane for the New Year” from Collected Poems, © 1962 by Elder Olson – University of Chicago Press

Image: detail from A Pavane, painted by Edwin Austin Abbey

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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5 Responses to New Year’s Day 2021

  1. Lovely post, Nona. Happy 2021 to you, too! I’m trying to “like” comments here, but not working right so far. We’ll get the site straightened out soon. Thanks for hanging in with us! You are a treasure to have contributing here.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Thanks Riana for the very kind words. Here’s to better days ahead for everybody but the GOP despicables in DC.

  2. Especially love the piece about waves…so thought-provoking!

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Happy New Year Becky! –

      I love that too, especially since the original was written in Latin during the time of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor, by Publius Ovidius Naso, known as Ovid to those of us in the English-speaking world – the more things change . . .

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