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Arthur Erbe’s Continuum illustrates the ways time affects our lives. The poems explore how each month, day, moment and memory shapes how we think about the passing of the hours. Recalling past moments links what we recall with how we think about events that happened years ago. Poems in this collection explore how certain months evoke incidents, how specific days record an event, how time passes during one day. The content of the poems follows specific forms. Some poems are long and slim; other follow a thought process in a looser pattern, and others find their own form, following the meaning of the experience recorded. In the poem “One Second,” the speaker says, “time makes no difference here/today and yesterday are the same/Yet I travel here with chosen words/arranged to recreate a place.”

The “place” is created by the poet with the words that describe a continuum from his early life to the present to memories of special places such as Yeats’ gravestone in Sligo, Ireland and the Odeon Café in Zurich, Switzerland. The journey through time evokes feelings of delight, discovery, loneliness, regret, and dream-like situations. Although most of the poems explore the real world, there are occasions when the poems contain elements of surrealism. However, reading about the journey gives a sense of a life lived, of introspective desires and how we cannot escape from time.

Arthur Erbe has been involved with the writing and reading of poetry for most of his career, first as a high school teacher, then as a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University where he earned a masters and doctorate in literature and writing. At the University of Pittsburgh, he taught a poetry course in the Honors College for 15 years. His interest in writing poetry has been a life-long activity which has been expanded through workshops at Kenyon College, Gettysburg College, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Antioch College and the W. B. Yeats International Summer School in Sligo, Ireland.

For the past ten years he has directed a poetry writing workshop at the Carnegie Library in Oakmont. He has a love of classical music, painting, going to concerts and museums and enjoys playing the piano. For ten years he has been the director of the discussion group of Anton Chekhov’s stories that meets monthly. In addition, he is a member of the Swiss-American Society and an officer of the Swiss Nationality Room at the University of Pittsburgh. He lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with his wife, Anne and their two cats, Fellini and Beau Jangles, who are wise and devoted.

Endless Recall

if time were to stop right now
I could recreate many moments

the mind does not forget
yesterday’s wet weather

how a friend just left
with no forwarding address

all the faces I met everyday
showing their joy and sorrow

each and every shivering bird
swaying on the telephone wire

the ant hill I stomped on
as an angry twelve-year-old

a dream about being lost
without any end to the forest

the eclipse of the moon
darkness in the galaxy

time doesn’t stop and the mind
rattles on with endless recall

* * *

Open Window, 1942

Sheer curtains wave in a soft breeze,
I practice Chopin’s Minute Waltz;

I knew about Chopin’s death: body buried in Paris —
his sister transported his heart to Warsaw.

I focus on lines of the staff, they are train tracks —
notes like cars, returning his heart home.

I continue to play his composition,
weary of the quickening pace, wonder about time.

When a cool breeze stimulates my playing,
I choose a Polonaise, a dance to cheer my spirits.

I feel Chopin’s shadow and heart-beats in the melody,
notes dance proudly on the tracks.

An unexpected whirlwind sweeps music
from my piano —
I fear an approaching storm, close the window,

not knowing other trains in Poland rush into darkness
with passengers facing the last minutes of heart-beats…

This is the 240th publication of The Poet's Press. ISBN 9780922558469. 140 pages, 6 x 9 inches, paperback. Published May 2019. $14.95. CLICK HERE to order from Amazon.


Version 24 Updated February 24, 2024

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Joel Allegretti

Leonid Andreyev

Mikhail Artsybashev

Jody Azzouni

Moira Bailis


Robert Carothers

Samuel Croxall

Richard Davidson

Claudia Dikinis

Arthur Erbe


Emilie Glen

Emily Greco

Annette Hayn

Heinrich Heine

Barbara A. Holland

Thomas D. Jones

Michael Katz

Li Yu

Richard Lyman

D.H. Melhem

David Messineo

Th. Metzger

J Rutherford Moss

John Burnett Payne

Edgar Allan Poe



Suzanne Post

Shirley Powell

Burt Rashbaum

Ernst Raupach

Susanna Rich

Brett Rutherford

Boria Sax

Charles Sorley

Vincent Spina

Ludwig Tieck

Pieter Vanderbeck

Jack Veasey

Jonathan Aryeh Wayne

Jacqueline de Weever

Don Washburn

Phillis Wheatley

Sarah Helen Whitman

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