Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Glass Green Waves of the Monterey Bay

This view of the Monterey Bay is north of the shore where Robinson Jeffers built his house, Tor House, of sea cobbles. Jeffers had a sort of dramatic stance toward life, and his life in particular, as you can guess from his poem.

I know that they keep publishing new books, which is OK, I guess, but I keep finding books of the past that I missed. The one I started today is by the Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz. It is a journal written from August, 1987 until August, 1988, and was published in 1994 by Farrar Straus Giroux (I love the things they publish!) under the title, A Year of the Hunter. The title was borrowed from a hunting book that was important to him as a child. "I did become a hunter, he says, although of a different sort: my goal was the entire visible world and I have devoted my entire life to trying to capture it in words, to making a direct hit with words." He says his meditations will be interwoven with memories of the people, places and events of his past, as he considers his life in his 77th year. It is already extremely interesting! When you get spend time with a person who is really able to think clearly and express himself

He gives this Robinson Jeffers poem at the end of his short introduction. He translated it into Polish "a long time ago." I knew at once that I had found the poem for tonight's blog.


“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 the wings. Love the wild swan.

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