When I first read this poem, it jolted me into reality. One of the many benefits of art beyond aesthetic appreciation is its ability to resonate with your deepest emotions. Art really can speak truth to your soul through imagery, prose, abstraction, even a melody.
In many ways “Nothing Twice” was the impetuous for my quest to Live Life Every Day. It stoked a burgeoning perspective I didn’t have the words to convey. With its provocative, practical, and even playful stanzas, the poem became the foundation for my daily philosophy. I truly strive to deliberately live each day with a purpose, a passion, an optimism and mostly a sense of joy. I used to take time for grated and, truth be told, I wasted a lot of it. I wish I had even a small portion of that time now.
So I do not take lightly my tag line to Live Every Day; it’s my life line! Do I fail some days; fall back into a wasteful, woo-is-me mode – you bet. But my attitude is that day wasn’t my best; I’m only human and I’ll mess up. The good news about living the day is that you don’t dwell on yesterday or fantasize about tomorrow. Today is sufficient and offers everything I need.
Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.
Even if there is no one dumber,
if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce,
you can’t repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.
No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.
One day, perhaps some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.
The next day, though you’re here with me,
I can’t help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?
Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It’s in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.
With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we’re different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.
Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak