Robinson Jeffers

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

Shakespeare’s Grave - Poem by Robinson Jeffers

Doggerel,' he thought, 'will do for church-wardens,
Poetry's precious enough not to be wasted,'
And rhymed it all out with a skew smile:
'Spare these stones. Curst be he that moves my bones-
Will hold the hands of masons and grave-diggers.'
But why did the good man care? For he wanted quietness.
He had tasted enough life in his time
To stuff a thousand; he wanted not to swim wide
In waters, nor wander the enormous air,
Nor grow into grass, enter through the mouths of cattle
The bodies of lusty women and warriors,
But all be finished. He knew it feelingly; the game
Of the whirling circles had become tiresome.
'Annihilation's impossible, but insulated
In the church under the rhyming flagstone
Perhaps my passionate ruins may be kept off market
To the end of this age. Oh, a thousand years
Will hardly leach,' he thought, 'this dust of that fire.'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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