Monday, April 8, 2013

The Treasure, by Robinson Jeffers


The Treasure

Mountains, a moment's earth-waves rising and hollowing; the
            earth too's an ephermerid; the stars—
Short-lived as grass the stars quicken in the nebula and dry in
            their summer, they spiral
Blind up space, scattered black seeds of a future; nothing lives
            long, the whole sky's
Recurrences tick the seconds of the hours of the ages of the gulf
            before birth, and the gulf
After death is like dated: to labor eighty years in a notch of
            eternity is nothing too tiresome,
Enormous repose after, enormous repose before, the flash of
            activity.
Surely you never have dreamed the incredible depths were
            prologue and epilogue merely
To the surface play in the sun, the instant of life, what is called
            life? I fancy
That silence is the thing, this noise a found word for it;
            interjection, a jump of the breath at that silence;
Stars burn, grass grows, men breathe: as a man finding treasure
            says "Ah!" but the treasure's the essence;
Before the man spoke it was there, and after he has spoken he
            gathers it, inexhaustible treasure.

by Robinson Jeffers, from The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, 1925

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