Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May
Wrote Shakespeare and the result was an unending TV series and Catherine Zeta Jones. I fear that many people may read Shakespeare's line and imagine that there are rough winds during May shaking the buds. I'm pretty sure that that is not the case. The point of the line is that the flowers that were buds are being shaken by the rough winds of Autumn. Thus:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
There's something lovely about the end being seen in the beginning and the beginning being seen in the end. Auden wrote:
Time and beauty burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral.
Which does approximately the same thing. As Pozzo says in Waiting for Godot:
They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.
Which Vladimir elaborates thus:
Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. (He listens) But habit is a great deadener.
Thus, in writing, we can all be tomorrow's corpses and yesterday's babies, trees are overgrown seeds, buildings rubble, and champagne is grapes and urine. Rhetorically the trick is called prolepsis, or at least that's when you refer to something by its future state (You're a dead man). I don't know if the backward looking trope has a name.
The point is that words can do what dull reality cannot. They can see the beginning and the end simultaneously. Centuries collapse in clauses. As Bob Dylan put it:
I waited for you on the running boards,
Near the cypress trees, while the springtime turned
Slowly into Autumn.