Sunday, October 18, 2009

California Poet: Robinson Jeffers

In a poetry reading I went to the other night, Louise Gluck and Robert Pinksy read some of their favorite poems, including one from Robinson Jeffers whose work is influenced by the natural beauty of the central California coast. I had read some of Jeffers poetry before but kind of forgot about him...I appreciate his work more now that I'm familiar with the Calif. coastline and have seen first-hand how quickly and carelessly we push forward building more developments and promoting more materialism, particularly on the West Coast. So, in the spirit of poetry (and nature), here is one by Jeffers:

Carmel Point

Robinson Jeffers

The extraordinary patience of things!

This beautiful place defaced with a crop of surburban houses-

How beautiful when we first beheld it,

Unbroken field of poppy and lupin walled with clean cliffs;

No intrusion but two or three horses pasturing,

Or a few milch cows rubbing their flanks on the outcrop rockheads-

Now the spoiler has come: does it care?
Not faintly. It has all time. It knows the people are a tide
That swells and in time will ebb, and all

Their works dissolve. Meanwhile the image of the pristine beauty

Lives in the very grain of the granite,

Safe as the endless ocean that climbs our cliff.-As for us:

We must uncenter our minds from ourselves;

We must unhumanize our views a little, and become confident

As the rock and ocean that we were made from.

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