Robinson Jeffers

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

Shine, Perishing Republic

Poem by Robinson Jeffers

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.

Comments about Shine, Perishing Republic by Robinson Jeffers

  • Kevin causey (1/7/2020 1:45:00 PM)

    Your site sucks! ! ! ! Good poetry destroyed by ad decadence. you! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • R Addison (12/30/2019 1:51:00 AM)

    Robinson beckons us to try to cast-aside Ecology, and show us that cannot be done, as we keep
    memory assured, only direction moderates...(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (7/31/2019 12:22:00 AM)

    A rhetorical and enchanting poem, 'shine, perishing republic'.
    Jeffers is a seer, knowing the corruption at the center of
    America, but hopeful for better things. An effective religious allusion to conclude,
    'God, when he walked on earth'.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rj Graham (3/11/2019 10:29:00 AM)

    More relevant each and every day(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • RJ Graham (3/11/2019 10:28:00 AM)

    boy, this gets more relevant every day(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Michael WalkerMichael 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

    8 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • 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

    David L Lennon(11/21/2018 2:21:00 PM)

    a number of historians, political scientists and folk of intellect have mentioned President Kennedy was hated by the US Military, Intelligence Services and the Mafia for his refusal to allow US air power to aid the Bay of Pigs fiasco- therefore they arranged for his demise-

    9 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
Read all 8 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

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

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003