Time Tornado

729 Words3 Pages
Time Tornado Humans have existed, as far as we know, for only a fraction of the time the Earth has been around. Smaller still, compared to the existence of galaxy, or even the universe. Our mark on history is tiny and faint, yet in our minds every hundred of years is more important than the last. The invention of the internet. t trumps the discovery of electricity, though one, however, could not exist without the other. “The Shape of History,” by Charles Harper Webb expresses the vastness of History through a cone shaped text, counting down the years, and highlighting that humans are unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Webb begins by detailing some of the newest events of the past few years. It’s 1995 and there are “pages and pages…show more content…
As we go back in time past “mammals in Cenozoic, Dinosaurs in Mesozoic, Forests in Paleozoic, Protozoans in the preCambrian,” the lines grow even shorter. Six words turns to three, to two, then to one. Webb refers to time as a “twisting gyre’ and a “cornucopia,” referencing the shape of his poem. As the lines become shorter, the pace of the poem speeds up. Fewer words bring us closer to the end. The end, or the beginning, “what Christians call Creation, astrophysicists call The Big Bang. Then for trillions of years, nothing at all.” This “nothing” is the most long stretching period of all of time, and it is represented by the shortest line, the word all. Webb endeavors to show the reader that the vastness of time cannot truly be measured. Humans are insignificant, hardly brushing the tip of the iceberg that is time. In his poem, “The Shape of History,” Charles Harper Webb demonstrates the vastness of History, and the tiny peice Humans make up, by using a reverse shape. In the poem the time that Humans take up is a much longer section, whereas the much longer periods of time toward the end are much shorter, going to down to even a few words, or one. Through this form, the reader is able to grasp just how unimportant Humans are to the Universe. Our kings, wars, and inventions mean so much to us, but to time they are hardly a speck of dust. It is important not to think ourselves tall, or to overstep our
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