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
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 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.