Thursday, May 9, 2019

Poem For A Thursday: Jeffers

Wonder and Joy

The things that one grows tired of--O, be sure
They are only foolish artificial things!
Can a bird ever tire of having wings?
And I, so long as life and sense endure,
(Or brief be they!) shall nevermore inure
My heart to the recurrence of the springs,
Of the grey dawns, the gracious evenings,
The infinite wheeling stars. A wonder pure
Must ever well within me to behold
Venus decline; or great Orion, whose belt
Is studded with three nails of burning gold,
Ascend the winter heaven. Who never felt
This wondering joy may yet be good and great:
But envy him not: he is not fortunate.
-Robinson Jeffers 

Robinson Jeffers was an American--and mostly Californian--poet who died in 1962. I always think of this as a poem for being outdoors, in the wilderness, maybe around a campfire. And have been known to declaim it under such circumstances.

I no longer recall where I first came across this poem. That's my poetry commonplace book above, a little tea-stained, in which this is written, a book now mostly obsolete, since poems I want to keep get typed into an HTML file and transferred to my phone. (Sigh. The modern world.) On the other hand, my handwriting is so appalling it may be all for the best.

Jennifer at Holds Upon Happiness is featuring a Pablo Neruda sonnet this week.