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Best Famous Robinson Jeffers Poems


Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Robinson Jeffers poems. This is a select list of the best famous Robinson Jeffers poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Robinson Jeffers poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Robinson Jeffers poems.

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by Robinson Jeffers |

TO HIS FATHER

Christ was your lord and captain all your life,
He fails the world but you he did not fail,
He led you through all forms of grief and strife
Intact, a man full-armed, he let prevail
Nor outward malice nor the worse-fanged snake
That coils in one's own brain against your calm,
That great rich jewel well guarded for his sake
With coronal age and death like quieting balm.
I Father having followed other guides
And oftener to my hurt no leader at all,
Through years nailed up like dripping panther hides
For trophies on a savage temple wall
Hardly anticipate that reverend stage
Of life, the snow-wreathed honor of extreme age.


by Robinson Jeffers |

SUICIDES STONE

Peace is the heir of dead desire,
Whether abundance killed the cormorant
In a happy hour, or sleep or death
Drowned him deep in dreamy waters,
Peace is the ashes of that fire,
The heir of that king, the inn of that journey.

This last and best and goal: we dead
Hold it so tight you are envious of us
And fear under sunk lids contempt.
Death-day greetings are the sweetest.
Let trumpets roar when a man dies
And rockets fly up, he has found his fortune.

Yet hungering long and pitiably
That way, you shall not reach a finger
To pluck it unripe and before dark
Creep to cover: life broke ten whipstocks
Over my back, broke faith, stole hope,
Before I denounced the covenant of courage.


by Robinson Jeffers |

DIVINELY SUPERFLUOUS BEAUTY

The storm-dances of gulls, the barking game of seals,
Over and under the ocean ...
Divinely superfluous beauty
Rules the games, presides over destinies, makes trees grow
And hills tower, waves fall.
The incredible beauty of joy
Stars with fire the joining of lips, O let our loves too
Be joined, there is not a maiden
Burns and thirsts for love
More than my blood for you, by the shore of seals while the wings
Weave like a web in the air
Divinely superfluous beauty.


by Robinson Jeffers |

THE EXCESSES OF GOD

Is it not by his high superfluousness we know
Our God? For to equal a need
Is natural, animal, mineral: but to fling
Rainbows over the rain
And beauty above the moon, and secret rainbows
On the domes of deep sea-shells,
And make the necessary embrace of breeding
Beautiful also as fire,
Not even the weeds to multiply without blossom
Nor the birds without music:
There is the great humaneness at the heart of things,
The extravagant kindness, the fountain
Humanity can understand, and would flow likewise
If power and desire were perch-mates.


by Robinson Jeffers |

TO THE STONE-CUTTERS

Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you foredefeated
Challengers of oblivion
Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down,
The square-limbed Roman letters
Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain. The poet as well
Builds his monument mockingly;
For man will be blotted out, the blithe earth die, the brave sun
Die blind and blacken to the heart:
Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.


by Robinson Jeffers |

TO THE HOUSE

I am heaping the bones of the old mother
To build us a hold against the host of the air;
Granite the blood-heat of her youth
Held molten in hot darkness against the heart
Hardened to temper under the feet
Of the ocean cavalry that are maned with snow
And march from the remotest west.
This is the primitive rock, here in the wet
Quarry under the shadow of waves
Whose hollows mouthed the dawn; little house each stone
Baptized from that abysmal font
The sea and the secret earth gave bonds to affirm you.


by Robinson Jeffers |

We Are Those People

 I have abhorred the wars and despised the liars, laughed at the frightened
And forecast victory; never one moment's doubt.
But now not far, over the backs of some crawling years, the next
Great war's column of dust and fire writhes
Up the sides of the sky: it becomes clear that we too may suffer
What others have, the brutal horror of defeat—
Or if not in the next, then in the next—therefore watch Germany
And read the future. We wish, of course, that our women
Would die like biting rats in the cellars, our men like wolves on the mountain:
It will not be so. Our men will curse, cringe, obey;
Our women uncover themselves to the grinning victors for bits of chocolate.


by Robinson Jeffers |

End Of The World

 When I was young in school in Switzerland, about the time of the Boer War,
We used to take it for known that the human race
Would last the earth out, not dying till the planet died. I wrote a schoolboy poem
About the last man walking in stoic dignity along the dead shore
Of the last sea, alone, alone, alone, remembering all
His racial past. But now I don't think so. They'll die faceless in flocks,
And the earth flourish long after mankind is out.


by Robinson Jeffers |

Hurt Hawks

 I

The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat, 

No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.

He stands under the oak-bush and waits 
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it. 

He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head, 

The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes. 
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant. 

You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him; 
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.

 II

I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk; 
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved. 

We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
Implacable arrogance. 

I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.


by Robinson Jeffers |

Shiva

 There is a hawk that is picking the birds out of our sky,
She killed the pigeons of peace and security,
She has taken honesty and confidence from nations and men,
She is hunting the lonely heron of liberty.
She loads the arts with nonsense, she is very cunning
Science with dreams and the state with powers to catch them at last.
Nothing will escape her at last, flying nor running.
This is the hawk that picks out the star's eyes.
This is the only hunter that will ever catch the wild swan;
The prey she will take last is the wild white swan of the beauty of things.
Then she will be alone, pure destruction, achieved and supreme,
Empty darkness under the death-tent wings.
She will build a nest of the swan's bones and hatch a new brood,
Hang new heavens with new birds, all be renewed.