Erat Hora is Latin for “That was the hour.” This poem is not only an adoration of the fleeting muse (Pound embraced unrequited love so long as it inspired his poetry), but also an ode to a moment that is so pure and permanent that it transcends the linear structure of time, encompassing eternity. Its delicate imagery, eloquent simplicity and pointed brevity make it one of my favorites.
“Thank you, whatever comes.” And then she turned
And, as the ray of sun on hanging flowers
Fades when the wind hath lifted them aside,
Went swiftly from me. Nay, whatever comes
One hour was sunlit and the most high gods
May not make boast of any better thing
Than to have watched that hour as it passed.
by Ezra Pound (1885-1972)