Maksim Tank's poem The Sun-Clock describes his sun clock as "remarkably accurate". However, he further states that

When someone asks me
"What o'clock is it?"
I stop,
Like my grandfather and father,
I pace out my shadow and tell
The time, accurate to the minute.

I'm somewhat confused as to what he's referring to here. That doesn't seem like a normal (or especially accurate) procedure. Can someone clarify?

  • Can you share a link to the poem?
    – verbose
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 5:07
  • please, correct author's last name at the beginning of your question. Also, it is strange that your quote says "Like my grandchild and father", actually it should be "grandfather".
    – Andra
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 19:44
  • @Andra Yeah, was writing on a phone, autocorrect got me I guess. Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


In the times when there were no clocks they used to tell the time measuring own shadow (one can use a stick and make a sundial but if your are somewhere away, you're also away from the stick but your body is here). So here, in the poem, author says that he has learned this skill from his father and grandfather. He praises the sun, the wisdom of the ancestors, close connection to nature.

In original I found only this scanned 1993 edition of selected poems by Maksim Tank. "СОНЕЧНЫ ГАДЗІННІК" is on page 116.

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