Robinson Jeffers
Vulture by Robinson Jeffers

Vulture by Robinson Jeffers

I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillsideAbove the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheelinghigh up in heaven,And presently it passed ...

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Contemplation Of The Sword by Robinson Jeffers

Contemplation Of The Sword by Robinson Jeffers

Reason will not decide at last, the sword will decide.The sword: an obsolete instrument of bronze or steel, formerly used to kill men, but hereIn the sense of a symbol. The ...

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Rock And Hawk by Robinson Jeffers

Rock And Hawk by Robinson Jeffers

Here is a symbol in whichMany high tragic thoughtsWatch their own eyes.This gray rock, standing tallOn the headland, where the seawindLets no tree grow,Earthquake-proved, and ...

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The Deer Lay Down Their Bones by Robinson Jeffers

The Deer Lay Down Their Bones by Robinson Jeffers

I followed the narrow cliffside trail half way up the mountainAbove the deep river-canyon. There was a little cataract crossed the path, flinging itselfOver tree roots and ...

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Bixby’s Landing by Robinson Jeffers

Bixby’s Landing by Robinson Jeffers

They burned lime on the hill and dropped it downhere in an iron carOn a long cable, here the ships warped inAnd took their loads from the engine, the wateris deep to the cliff. ...

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The Stars Go Over The Lonely Ocean by Robinson Jeffers

The Stars Go Over The Lonely Ocean by Robinson Jeffers

Unhappy about some far off thingsThat are not my affair, wanderingAlong the coast and up the lean ridges,I saw in the eveningThe stars go over the lonely ocean,And a black-maned ...

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Ascent To The Sierras by Robinson Jeffers

Ascent To The Sierras by Robinson Jeffers

Beyond the great valley an odd instinctive risingBegins to possess the ground, the flatness gathers to little humps andbarrows, low aimless ridges,A sudden violence of rock ...

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The Answer by Robinson Jeffers

The Answer by Robinson Jeffers

Then what is the answer?- Not to be deluded by dreams. To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence, and their tyrants come, many times before. When open ...

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Carmel Point by Robinson Jeffers

Carmel Point by Robinson Jeffers

The extraordinary patience of things! This beautiful place defaced with a crop of surburban houses-How beautiful when we first beheld it,Unbroken field of poppy and lupin walled ...

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July Fourth By The Ocean by Robinson Jeffers

July Fourth By The Ocean by Robinson Jeffers

The continent's a tamed ox, with all its mountains,Powerful and servile, here is for plowland, here isfor park and playground, this helplessCataract for power, it lies behind us ...

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Fire On The Hills by Robinson Jeffers

Fire On The Hills by Robinson Jeffers

The deer were bounding like blown leavesUnder the smoke in front the roaring wave of the brush-fire,I thought of the smaller lives that were caught.Beauty is not always lovely, ...

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The Epic Stars by Robinson Jeffers

The Epic Stars by Robinson Jeffers

The heroic stars spending themselves,Coining their very flesh into bullets for the lost battle,They must burn out at length like used candles, And Mother Night will weep in her ...

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Shine, Perishing Republic by Robinson Jeffers

Shine, Perishing Republic by Robinson Jeffers

While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickeningto empireAnd protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and themass hardens,I ...

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Love The Wild Swan by Robinson Jeffers

Love The Wild Swan by Robinson Jeffers

I hate my verses, every line, every word.Oh pale and brittle pencils ever to tryOne grass-blade's curve, or the throat of one birdThat clings to twig, ruffled against white ...

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Hurt Hawks by Robinson Jeffers

Hurt Hawks by Robinson Jeffers

IThe broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,The wing trails like a banner in defeat, No more to use the sky forever but live with famineAnd pain a few days: ...

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Contrast by Robinson Jeffers

Contrast by Robinson Jeffers

The world has many seas, Mediterranean, Atlantic, but here is the shore of the one ocean.And here the heavy future hangs like a cloud, the enormous scene, the enormous games ...

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Be Angry At The Sun by Robinson Jeffers

Be Angry At The Sun by Robinson Jeffers

That public men publish falsehoodsIs nothing new. That America must acceptLike the historical republics corruption and empireHas been known for years.Be angry at the sun for ...

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To The Stone-Cutters by Robinson Jeffers

To The Stone-Cutters by Robinson Jeffers

Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you foredefeatedChallengers of oblivionEat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down,The square-limbed Roman lettersScale ...

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Apology For Bad Dreams by Robinson Jeffers

Apology For Bad Dreams by Robinson Jeffers

IIn the purple light, heavy with redwood, the slopes drop seaward,Headlong convexities of forest, drawn in together to the steepravine. Below, on the sea-cliff,A lonely ...

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The Purse-Seine by Robinson Jeffers

The Purse-Seine by Robinson Jeffers

Our sardine fishermen work at night in the darkof the moon, daylight or moonlightThey could not tell where to spread the net, unable to see the phosphorescence of the shoals of ...

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Ave Caesar by Robinson Jeffers

Ave Caesar by Robinson Jeffers

No bitterness: our ancestors did it.They were only ignorant and hopeful, they wanted freedom but wealth too.Their children will learn to hope for a Caesar.Or rather--for we are ...

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Let Them Alone by Robinson Jeffers

Let Them Alone by Robinson Jeffers

If God has been good enough to give you a poetThen listen to him. But for God's sake let him alone until he is dead, no prizes, no ceremony,They kill the man. A poet is one who ...

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Inscription For A Gravestone by Robinson Jeffers

Inscription For A Gravestone by Robinson Jeffers

I am not dead, I have only become inhuman:That is to say,Undressed myself of laughable prides and infirmities,But not as a manUndresses to creep into bed, but like an ...

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Tor House by Robinson Jeffers

Tor House by Robinson Jeffers

If you should look for this place after a handful of lifetimes:Perhaps of my planted forest a fewMay stand yet, dark-leaved Australians or the coast cypress, haggardWith ...

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Promise Of Peace by Robinson Jeffers

Promise Of Peace by Robinson Jeffers

The heads of strong old age are beautifulBeyond all grace of youth. They have strange quiet,Integrity, health, soundness, to the fullThey've dealt with life and been tempered by ...

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The Summit Redwood by Robinson Jeffers

The Summit Redwood by Robinson Jeffers

Only stand high a long enough time your lightningwill come, that is what blunts the peaks ofredwoods,But this old tower of life on the hilltop has takenit more than twice a ...

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On Building With Stone by Robinson Jeffers

On Building With Stone by Robinson Jeffers

To be an ape in little of the mountain-making motherLike swarthy Cheops, but my own handsFor only slaves, is a far sweeter toil than to cutPassions in verse for a sick ...

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Boats In A Fog by Robinson Jeffers

Boats In A Fog by Robinson Jeffers

Sports and gallantries, the stage, the arts, the antics of dancers,The exuberant voices of music,Have charm for children but lack nobility, it is bitter earnestnessThat makes ...

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So Many Blood-Lakes by Robinson Jeffers

So Many Blood-Lakes by Robinson Jeffers

We have now won two world-wars, neither of which concerned us, we were slipped in. We have levelled the powersOf Europe, that were the powers of the world, into rubble and ...

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Shiva by Robinson Jeffers

Shiva by Robinson Jeffers

There is a hawk that is picking the birds out of our sky,She killed the pigeons of peace and security,She has taken honesty and confidence from nations and men,She is hunting ...

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Return by Robinson Jeffers

Return by Robinson Jeffers

A little too abstract, a little too wise,It is time for us to kiss the earth again, It is time to let the leaves rain from the skies,Let the rich life run to the roots again.I ...

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The Great Explosion by Robinson Jeffers

The Great Explosion by Robinson Jeffers

The universe expands and contracts like a great heart.It is expanding, the farthest nebulaeRush with the speed of light into empty space.It will contract, the immense navies of ...

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Fawn’s Foster-Mother by Robinson Jeffers

Fawn’s Foster-Mother by Robinson Jeffers

The old woman sits on a bench before the door and quarrelsWith her meagre pale demoralized daughter.Once when I passed I found her alone, laughing in the sunAnd saying that when ...

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To A Young Artist by Robinson Jeffers

To A Young Artist by Robinson Jeffers

It is good for strength not to be mercifulTo its own weakness, good for the deep urn to runover, good to exploreThe peaks and the deeps, who can endure it,Good to be hurt, who ...

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Sign-Post by Robinson Jeffers

Sign-Post by Robinson Jeffers

Civilized, crying: how to be human again, this will tell you how.Turn outward, love things, not men, turn right away from humanity,Let that doll lie. Consider if you like how ...

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Birds by Robinson Jeffers

Birds by Robinson Jeffers

The fierce musical cries of a couple of sparrowhawks huntingon the headland,Hovering and darting, their heads northwestward,Prick like silver arrows shot through a curtain the ...

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The Excesses Of God by Robinson Jeffers

The Excesses Of God by Robinson Jeffers

Is it not by his high superfluousness we knowOur God? For to be equal a needIs natural, animal, mineral: but to flingRainbows over the rainAnd beauty above the moon, and secret ...

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The Eye by Robinson Jeffers

The Eye by Robinson Jeffers

The Atlantic is a stormy moat, and the Mediterranean,The blue pool in the old garden,More than five thousand years has drunk sacrificeOf ships and blood, and shines in the sun, ...

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Summer Holiday by Robinson Jeffers

Summer Holiday by Robinson Jeffers

When the sun shouts and people aboundOne thinks there were the ages of stone and the age ofbronzeAnd the iron age, iron the unstable metal,Steel made of iron, unstable as his ...

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Meditation On Saviors by Robinson Jeffers

Meditation On Saviors by Robinson Jeffers

IWhen I considered it too closely, when I wore it like an elementand smelt it like water,Life is become less lovely, the net nearer than the skin, alittle troublesome, a little ...

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Birth-Dues by Robinson Jeffers

Birth-Dues by Robinson Jeffers

Joy is a trick in the air, pleasure is merely contemptible, the dangledCarrot the ass follows to market or precipice,But limitary pain -- the rock under the tower and the hewn ...

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The Silent Shepherds by Robinson Jeffers

The Silent Shepherds by Robinson Jeffers

What's the best life for a man?--Never to have been born, sings the choros, and the next bestIs to die young. I saw the Sybil at CumaeHung in her cage over the public ...

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An Artist by Robinson Jeffers

An Artist by Robinson Jeffers

That sculptor we knew, the passionate-eyed son of a quarryman,Who astonished Rome and Paris in his meteor youth, and thenwas gone, at his high tide of triumphs,Without reason or ...

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The Bird With The Dark Plumes by Robinson Jeffers

The Bird With The Dark Plumes by Robinson Jeffers

The bird with the dark plumes in my blood,That never for one moment however I patched my trucesConsented to make peace with the people,It is pitiful now to watch her pleasure In ...

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Ante Mortem by Robinson Jeffers

Ante Mortem by Robinson Jeffers

It is likely enough that lions and scorpionsGuard the end, life never was bonded to be endurable nor theact of dyingUnpainful, the brain burning too oftenEarns, though it held ...

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The Machine by Robinson Jeffers

The Machine by Robinson Jeffers

The little biplane that has the river-meadow for landing-fieldAnd carries passengers brief rides,Buzzed overhead on the tender blue above the orange of sundown.Below it five ...

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Delusion Of Saints by Robinson Jeffers

Delusion Of Saints by Robinson Jeffers

The old pagan burials, uninscribed rock,Secret-keeping mounds,Have shed the feeble delusions that built them,They stand inhumanlyClean and massive, they have lost their ...

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Time Of Disturbance by Robinson Jeffers

Time Of Disturbance by Robinson Jeffers

The best is, in war or faction or ordinary vindictivelife, not to take sides.Leave it for children, and the emotional rabble of thestreets, to back their horse or support a ...

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Science by Robinson Jeffers

Science by Robinson Jeffers

Man, introverted man, having crossedIn passage and but a little with the nature of things this lattercenturyHas begot giants, but being taken upLike a maniac with self-love and ...

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Life From The Lifeless by Robinson Jeffers

Life From The Lifeless by Robinson Jeffers

Spirits and illusions have died,The naked mind livesIn the beauty of inanimate things.Flowers wither, grass fades, trees wilt,The forest is burnt,The rock is not burnt.The deer ...

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