Robinson Jeffers

(10 January 1887 – 20 January 1962 / Allegheny, Pennsylvania)

Shine, Perishing Republic


While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening
to empire
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the
mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots
to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and deca-
dence; and home to the mother.

You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stub-
bornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains:
shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thick-
ening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster's feet there
are left the mountains.
And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant,
insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught--they say--
God, when he walked on earth.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Read poems about / on: america, mother, flower, remember, spring, children, home, god, life, city, child, smile

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  • Rookie - 645 Points Michael Walker (1/31/2015 5:40:00 PM)

    I like very much the phrase 'shine perishing republic'-just the right title. The last two lies have impact and surprise-'God when he walked on earth'. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Will Barber (12/12/2009 12:19:00 AM)

    Jeffers was right. The Empire doomed the Republic.

    We dwell here, fifty and more years on, not having heeded the voice of Jeffers, or (for that matter) Eisenhower.

    Nor, for that mattter, MacArthur. He advised Kennedy never to fight a land war in Asia., Shine, Perishing Republic indeed, with two such wars.

    The American Empire is doomed to failure. The quicker, the better. (Report) Reply

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