Робинсън Джеферс



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The Great Wound

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Continent's End

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At the equinox when the earth was veiled in a late rain, wreathed

with wet poppies, waiting spring,

The ocean swelled for a far storm and beat its boundary, the

ground-swell shook the beds of granite.


I gazing at the boundaries of granite and spray, the established

sea-marks, felt behind me

Mountain and plain, the immense breadth of the continent, before

me the mass and doubled stretch of water.


I said: You yoke the Aleutian seal-rocks with the lava and coral

sowings that flower the south,

Over your flood the life that sought the sunrise faces ours that has

followed the evening star.


The long migrations meet across you and it is nothing to you, you

have forgotten us, mother.

You were much younger when we crawled out of the womb and

lay in the sun's eye on the tideline.


It was long and long ago; we have grown proud since then and

you have grown bitter; life retains

Your mobile soft unquiet strength; and envies hardness, the

insolent quietness of stone.


The tides are in our veins, we still mirror the stars, life is your

child, but there is in me

Older and harder than life and more impartial, the eye that

watched before there was an ocean.


That watched you fill your beds out of the condensation of thin

vapor and watched you change them,

That saw you soft and violent wear your boundaries down, eat

rock, shift places with the continents.


Mother, though my song's measure is like your surf-beat's ancient

rhythm I never learned it of you.

Before there was any water there were tides of fire, both our tones

flow from the other fountain

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