Robinson Jeffers

Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Robinson Jeffers
Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Vulture

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
narrowing,
I understood then
That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-
feathers
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
here.
These old bones will still work; they are not for you.' But how
beautiful
he looked, gliding down
On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the
sea-light
over the precipice. I tell you solemnly
That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak
and
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.
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COMMENTS
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
Janet Briggs 15 September 2017
Here's a good video reading of this poem: https: //youtu.be/fbEJzWi-hA8
1 1 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, ''
12 2 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 10 December 2015
A description about the cycles of nature...
11 1 Reply
Darryl Jackson 26 June 2015
The beauty of the circle of life is clear in these words.
4 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!
3 2 Reply
Seamus O Brian 01 December 2014
I had my doubts at the beginning, but the imagery pulled me in and nailed me.
3 1 Reply
Aftab Alam Khursheed 01 December 2014
So beautiful each word is measured rhythmical - That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak I am Alive and not dead
2 1 Reply

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