The paper is a comparative analysis and interpretation of two poetic texts: the poem Przegięcie by Piotr Sommer, from the volume Dni i noce (2009), and Miron Białoszewski’s poem from 1961, starting with the words kochać taka sztuka. In both of them, the key role is played by the metaphor of chirping-ticking, evoking the ancient metaliterary topos of the poet-cicada, but also problematizing the fact of the continuous measurement of time in modernity. Referring to the notion of chronopoetics used by Wolfgang Ernst and to the post-secular analysis of the sestina proposed by Giorgio Agamben, the paper raises a question about the relationship between the mechanical measurement of time and the temporal structure of modern free verse. The comparison of the chronopoetics in both analyzed texts focuses on the function of rhythmic devices, repetitions and, especially in Białoszewski, effects of defamiliarization. An attempt to describe their specific temporalities allows us to reinterpret the traces of existence present in the content: insomnia in Sommer and John of the Cross’ dark night of the soul in Białoszewski.