"The Answer," by Robinson Jeffers 1887-1962

tumble down miner's cabin in Eastern Oregon

"Then what is the answer? -Not to be deluded by dreams.

To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence,

and their tyrants come, many times before.

When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose

the least ugly faction; these evils are essential.

To keep one's own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted

and not wish for evil; and not be duped

by dreams of universal justice or happiness. These dreams will

not be fulfilled.

To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear

the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand

Is an ugly thing, and man dissevered from the earth and stars

and his history....

Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness,

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty

of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that....."


Robinson Jeffers, copyright 1938. "The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers" was released in 1938. Some historical context for this year in history: Orson Wells staged his radio play "War of the Worlds," the Stock Market recession reached a terrifying lowest point; Howard Hughes won a big prize for flying around the world in 3 days, 19 hours; and The Wage and Hours Act was signed by President Roosevelt, with the minimum wage raised to 40 cents an hour!

All quotations permission of Stanford University Press, September 6, 2000.

Images taken Summer, 2000 in old mining camps in Eastern Oregon. Image below taken July 2014, picturing my personal replica statue of Venus de Milo, not the real statue, which was carved about 150 BC and is in the Louvre in France.

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