Robinson Jeffers

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

From The Women At Point Sur - Poem by Robinson Jeffers

XII

Here were new idols again to praise him;

I made them alive; but when they looked up at the face before
they had seen it they were drunken and fell down.

I have seen and not fallen, I am stronger than the idols,

But my tongue is stone how could I speak him? My blood in my
veins is seawater how could it catch fire?

The rock shining dark rays and the rounded

Crystal the ocean his beam of blackness and silence

Edged with azure, bordered with voices;

The moon her brittle tranquillity; the great phantoms, the foun-
tains of light, the seed of the sky,

Their plaintive splendors whistling to each other:

There is nothing but shines though it shine darkness; nothing but
answers; they are caught in the net of their voices

Though the voices be silence; they are woven in the nerve-warp.

One people, the stars and the people, one structure; the voids
between stars, the voids between atoms, and the vacancy

In the atom in the rings of the spinning demons,

Are full of that weaving; one emptiness, one presence: who had
watched all his splendor

Had known but a little: all his night, but a little.

I made glass puppets to speak of him, they splintered in my hand
and have cut me, they are heavy with my blood.

But the jewel-eyed herons have never beheld him

Nor heard; nor the tall owl with cat's ears, the bittern in the
willows, the squid in the rock in the silence of the ocean,

The vulture that broods in the pitch of the blue

And sees the earth globed, her edges dripping into rainbow twi-
lights: eyed hungers, blind fragments: I sometime

Shall fashion images great enough to face him

A moment and speak while they die. These here have gone mad:
but stammer the tragedy you crackled vessels.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

Poem Edited: Friday, June 29, 2012


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