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Robinson Jeffers

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

The Eye


The Atlantic is a stormy moat; and the Mediterranean,
The blue pool in the old garden,
More than five thousand years has drunk sacrifice
Of ships and blood, and shines in the sun; but here the Pacific--
Our ships, planes, wars are perfectly irrelevant.
Neither our present blood-feud with the brave dwarfs
Nor any future world-quarrel of westering
And eastering man, the bloody migrations, greed of power, clash of
faiths--
Is a speck of dust on the great scale-pan.
Here from this mountain shore, headland beyond stormy headland
plunging like dolphins through the blue sea-smoke
Into pale sea--look west at the hill of water: it is half the
planet:
this dome, this half-globe, this bulging
Eyeball of water, arched over to Asia,
Australia and white Antartica: those are the eyelids that never
close;
this is the staring unsleeping
Eye of the earth; and what it watches is not our wars.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Rookie Thomas Harris (1/5/2014 6:00:00 PM)

    This was one of my earliest favorite poems. The image of the eye staring away from the planet at the universe has always stayed with me as a reminder of humankinds insignificance. (Report) Reply

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