Inscription For A Gravestone Poem by Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers

Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Inscription For A Gravestone

Rating: 2.9


I am not dead, I have only become inhuman:
That is to say,
Undressed myself of laughable prides and infirmities,
But not as a man
Undresses to creep into bed, but like an athlete
Stripping for the race.
The delicate ravel of nerves that made me a measurer
Of certain fictions
Called good and evil; that made me contract with pain
And expand with pleasure;
Fussily adjusted like a little electroscope:
That's gone, it is true;
(I never miss it; if the universe does,
How easily replaced!)
But all the rest is heightened, widened, set free.
I admired the beauty
While I was human, now I am part of the beauty.
I wander in the air,
Being mostly gas and water, and flow in the ocean;
Touch you and Asia
At the same moment; have a hand in the sunrises
And the glow of this grass.
I left the light precipitate of ashes to earth
For a love-token.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Michael Walker 01 November 2019

An original, surreal speech by someone who has died: he does not miss the fictions of good and evil. He used to admire the beauty in the world: now he is part of that beauty. 'I wander in the air, ...Touch you and Asia'. What imagination Robinson Jeffers had.

1 0 Reply
Barbara 13 August 2018

I recited this when we committed my husband's ashes to the sea.

4 0 Reply
Diane Driver 06 June 2018

Probably my favorite poem; certainly the one most shared.

2 0 Reply

Robinson Jeffers

Allegheny, Pennsylvania
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