Sunday, May 14, 2006

An artist-by Robinson Jeffers

The sculptor we knew, the passionate-eyed son of a quarryman,
Who astonished Rome and Paris in his meteor youth,
and then was gone, at his high tide of triumphs,
Without reason or goodbye; I have seen him again
lately, after twenty years, but not in Europe.

In desert hills I rode a horse slack-kneed with thirst.
Down a steep slope a dancing swarm
Of yellow butterflies over a shining rock made me hope
water. We slid down to the place,
The spring was bitter but the horse drank. I magined
wearings of an old path from that wet rock..
More than the spalls you saw by accident.
(the sculptor)
What I see is
the enormous beauty of things, but what I attempt
Is nothing to that. I am helpless toward that.
It is only to form in stone the mould of some ideal
humanity that might be worthy to be
Under that lightning. Animalcules that God (if he were
given to laughter) might omit to laugh at.

Those children of my hands are tortured, because they
feel, he said, "the storm of the outer magnificence.
They are giants in agony.
But in their eyes they have peace. I have lived a little and
I think
Peace marrying pain alone can breed that excellence in
the luckless race, might make it decent
To exist at all on the star-lit stone breast.

I hope," he
said, "that when I grow old and the chisel drops,
I may crawl out on a ledge of the rock and die lika a

These fragments are all I can remember,
These in the flare of the desert envening. Having been
driven so brutally forth I never returned;
Yet I respect him enought ot keep his name and the place
secret. I hope that some other traveller
May stumble on that ravine of Titans after their maker
has died. While he lives, let him alone
-robinson jeffers

This poem is basically about how there is beauty out there, beyond anything we can passably see with our eyes or know in any empirical sense.

the weather is hot and there are plants out there that need water.

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