Vulture Poem by Robinson Jeffers


Rating: 3.1

I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside
Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling
high up in heaven,
And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit
I understood then
That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-
Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.
I could see the naked red head between the great wings
Bear downward staring. I said, 'My dear bird, we are wasting time
These old bones will still work; they are not for you.' But how
he looked, gliding down
On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the
over the precipice. I tell you solemnly
That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak
become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes--
What a sublime end of one's body, what an enskyment; what a life
after death.

Fabrizio Frosini 10 December 2015

A description about the cycles of nature...

11 1 Reply
Kim Barney 01 December 2014

Amazing. I was intrigued from the beginning, because I love to watch vultures flying, but then the abrupt thought of becoming part of one by being eaten, that just blew me away!

4 2 Reply
Darryl Jackson 26 June 2015

The beauty of the circle of life is clear in these words.

4 1 Reply
Savita Tyagi 01 December 2013

Beautiful poem. When fear is not there beauty can be seen all around. Also a sense of oneness that goes beyond bodily existence.

3 1 Reply
Frank Avon 31 August 2014

Incredibly good poem on a subject that one would not expect. The poet's vision transforms the reader's vision seamlessly. I wish I could see how the poem actually looks on a page; this would help me know how to read it orally.

4 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 23 January 2022

An interesting rendition with vivid imagery.....

0 0 Reply
Michael Walker 31 July 2019

He is ambivalent about the vulture-love-hate. He is afraid of the vulture killing him, but admires the bird's beauty, his wings 'those great sails' and he thinks this would be a good a way as any to die.

0 0 Reply
MS.CLHH 05 December 2018

A very respectful ode to vulture. I will frame it and hang it beside my vulture painting.

2 0 Reply
MUHAMMAD JANGO 28 November 2018

The poem is really amazing and of metaphysical images.

1 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 10 December 2015

''What a sublime end of one's body, '' well.. not the best, maybe.. ;) - In Italian: - ''Quale sublime fine per il proprio corpo, ''

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Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers

Allegheny, Pennsylvania
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