26 December 2005

Monday Quote

Robinson Jeffers was the poetry of non-sunny California, of the foggy, rainy places where people had yet to make inroads on nature. He seemed to have drawn from his observations of science and war the inference that humanity would soon remove itself from the world – to the world’s advantage. In Roan Stallion, he interrupts a story of an unhappy farmwife (sorry, I know that’s a terrific simplification) with a rant that gives some sense of his argument.

is the start of the race; I say
Humanity is the mould to break away from, the crust to
break through, the coal to break into fire,
The atom to be split.
Tragedy that breaks man’s face
and a white fire flies out of it; vision that fools him
Out of his limits, desire that fools him out of his limits,
unnatural crime, inhuman science,
Slit eyes in the mask; wild loves that leap over the walls
of nature, the wild fence-vaulter science,
Useless intelligence of far stars, dim knowledge of the
spinning demons that make an atom,
These break, these pierce, these deify, praising their God
shrilly with fierce voices: not in a man’s shape
He approves the praise, he that walks lightning-naked on
the Pacific, that laces the suns with planets,
The heart of the atom with electrons: what is humanity
in this cosmos? For him, the last
Least taint of a trace in the dregs of the solution; for
itself, the mould to break away from, the coal
To break into fire, the atom to be split.

Yes, I know it's Tuesday. Blogger wasn't working for me yesterday.


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