Answer," by Robinson Jeffers 1887-1962
"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
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 2017,
picturing my personal replica statue of Venus de Milo, not the
real statue, which was carved about 150 BC and is in the Louvre