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Monday, 15 March 2010

Robinson Jeffers: Evening Ebb


File:Carmel River State Beach  byDanielJMcKeown 2006 100 4334.JPG

The ocean has not been quiet for a long while; five night-herons
Fly shorelong voiceless in the hush of air
Over the calm of an ebb that almost mirrors their wings.
The sun has gone down, and the water has gone down
From the weed-clad rock, but the distant cloud-wall rises. The ebb whispers.
Great cloud-shadows float in the opal water.
Through rifts in the screen of the world pale gold gleams and the evening
Star suddenly glides like a flying torch.
As if we had not been meant to see her; rehearsing behind
The screen of the world for another audience.

Evening Ebb: Robinson Jeffers, from Dear Judas (1929)

Pacific Ocean from Carmel River State Beach: photo by Daniel J. McKeown and Jessica Dryden-Cook, 2006


J said...

JeffersSpeak works for me, tho' his cool, stoical poems about the Big Sur/Carmel coast also produce a slightly uneasy feeling, probably due to the connotations of Carmel and the tacky chateaus of pebble beach and its corporate fairways (no bohemians reside in those districts...).

--the modernist mafia/Ez Pound considered RJ a rustic supposedly. Shrieking of things Pound, I linked to your recent interview and then a few of my humble attempts at understanding Pound/Cantos (there's quite a bit online now). My italiano not so great, but ...I get most of it--

The quoted Canto seems right out of Dante's malebolge, really, but retrofitted with anglo bankers and WASPs. I believe that Pound, like the more rational members of the Founding Fathers, detested Calvinism (and all that it implied), and considered it one of the great disruptions of ... modern life etc.--not sure if that means he was a catholic, but Aristotelian in a sense (rather than just neo-platonist as some lit. types insist).

TC said...


I came to this after picking up our conversation here, and now see that some of what was said there dovetails with what's going on here, the Pound remarks especially.

EP's Dante warped into EP's neo-enlightenment mind...

J said...

Yes, Pound seems sort of torn between like Alex Hamilton/Madison etc and ...Dante.

Or maybe EP was actually...mad, or became so. The speeches for Il Duce sound rather hysterical and frenzied, even as propaganda. Other ex-pats turned ...rats generally sounded cool and mocking--like the American college gal (can't recall her name--Berlin Susie or something) who broadcast for the...nazis. The germans actually had massive loudspeakers planted near battle zones where US grunts would hear her velvety tones, in perfect English calling them kikes, f**gs, cuckolds, etc