An American Poem (December 26, 2005)
I received a special Christmas gift, a 1959 Random House edition of The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers. Do yourself a favor right now and read this short poem, which expresses the uniquely American intensity he brought to his disdain for "civilization" and cities, and his Taoist-like sensitivity to the natural world of his chosen home, Big Sur:
Like any great poem, there is much here to ponder and appreciate, images and thoughts which fling off sparks in your mind, especially upon re-reading. "Hungry-smitten cities," truly; and so of a piece with my own disdain for our depraved comsumerist ideology. "Sick nations" needs no elucidation; insert the countries of your choice. Nature's voice, "clean as a child's"--what a wonderful auditory evocation--extended, at the last, to a young girl's dreams of love. One would be hard-pressed to find a more exacting, moving expression of so many powerful naturalistic themes. Perhaps in Chuang Tsu, but that's another entry.
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copyright © 2005 Charles Hugh Smith. All rights reserved in all media.
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