Happy Birthday, Robinson
Today in 1887 Robinson Jeffers was born. Here are three of his works:
Like mourning women veiled to the feet
Tall slender rainstorms walk slowly against gray cloud along
the far verge.
The ocean is green where the river empties,
Dull gray between the points of the headlands, purple where
the women walk.
What do they want? Whom are they mourning?
What hero's dust in the urn between the two hands hidden
in the veil?
Titaness after Titaness proudly
Bearing her tender magnificent sorrow at her heart,
the lost battle's beauty.
End Of The World
When I was young in school in Switzerland, about the time
of the Boer War,
We used to take it for known that the human race
Would last the earth out, not dying till the planet died. I wrote
a schoolboy poem
About the last man walking in stoic dignity along the dead shore
Of the last sea, alone, alone, alone, remembering all
His racial past. But now I don't think so. They'll die faceless
And the earth flourish long after mankind is out.
Hope Is Not For The Wise
Hope is not for the wise, fear is for fools;
Change and the world, we think, are racing to a fall,
Open-eyed and helpless, in every newscast that is the news:
The time's events would seem mere chaos but all
Drift the one deadly direction. But this is only
The August thunder of the age, not the November.
Wise men hope nothing, the wise are naturally lonely
And think November as good as April, the wise remember
That Caesar and even final Augustulus had heirs,
And men lived on; rich unplanned life on earth
After the foreign wars and the civil wars, the border wars
And the barbarians: music and religion, honor and mirth
Renewed life's lost enchantments. But if life even
Had perished utterly, Oh perfect loveliness of earth and heaven.