I’m travelling over the Easter break so instead of the usual weekly post I’m leaving you ‘The Answer’ by one of my favorite poets, 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…for contemplation or in fact…
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, or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions, or drown in despair when his days darken.
Source: The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers (Stanford University Press, 1988)
”It would be better for men to be few and live far apart, where none could infect another; then slowly the sanity of field and mountain and the cold ocean and glittering stars might enter their minds.” Robinson Jeffers