Shine, Perishing Republic Poem by Robinson Jeffers

Shine, Perishing Republic

Rating: 3.0

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.

Shine, Perishing Republic
Will Barber 12 December 2009

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.

9 1 Reply
David L Lennon 21 November 2018

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-

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Michael Walker 31 January 2015

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'.

8 1 Reply
Kevin causey 07 January 2020

Your site sucks! ! ! ! Good poetry destroyed by ad decadence. you! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

1 2 Reply
R Addison 30 December 2019

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

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Michael Walker 31 July 2019

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'.

2 0 Reply
Rj Graham 11 March 2019

More relevant each and every day

1 1 Reply
RJ Graham 11 March 2019

boy, this gets more relevant every day

1 1 Reply
Carl Feddersoon 30 November 2020


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Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers

Allegheny, Pennsylvania
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