Friday, 22 February 2008

Robinson Jeffers and the wild swan

Robinson Jeffers, the so-called isolationist poet of Carmel, California, reaches for his pencil and tries to get what's going on in his head set down on paper. Never the simplest of tasks; but here, in sonnet form, using the swan as metaphor, he succeeds beautifully. The last line is majestic. An inspiration to us all!

Love the Wild Swan

'I hate my verses, every line, every word.
Oh pale and brittle pencils ever to try
One grass blade's curve, or the throat of one bird
That clings to twig, ruffled against white sky.
Oh cracked and twilight mirrors ever to catch
One color, one glinting flash, of the splendor of things.
Unlucky hunter, Oh bullets of wax,
The lion beauty, the wild-swan wings, the storm of the wings.'
- This wild swan of a world is no hunter's game.
Better bullets than yours would miss the white breast,
Better mirrors than yours would crack in the flame.
Does it matter whether you hate your ... self? At least
Love your eyes that can see, your mind that can
Hear the music, the thunder of wings. Love the wild swan.

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