Study Guide

Twelfth Song of Thunder Time

By Anonymous


Wouldn’t it be nice if we could circle back in time sometimes, rewind back to a moment before we said that stupid thing in class, or before we made a fool of ourselves in front of our crush. It’s wishful thinking, we know. But “Twelfth Song of Thunder” presents an idea of time as a circle. As we’ve mentioned, we’ll find a lot of repetition and refrains in this poem. And even though the word “time” doesn’t actually show up in the poem, it’s evoked through repetition. And what does the repetition do? It gives us a cyclical sense of time. That is, the poem suggests that time doesn’t move forward in a straight line (which is the way that we’re used to thinking about it in the modern world) but rather that it moves in a circle.

Questions About Time

  1. How does the repetition work to give us a cyclical sense of time in “Twelfth Song of Thunder”?
  2. In what ways is time depicted as predictable and continuous in this song?
  3. How can the “voices” in the poem be understood not only as sounds but also measurements of time?

Chew on This

This poem doesn’t mention the word time. It’s more focused on nature than any concept of time’s passage.

In this song, time is cyclical, rather than linear.

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