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Robinson Jeffers - The Great Explosion

The universe expands and contracts like a great heart.
It is expanding, the farthest nebulae
Rush with the speed of light into empty space.
It will contract, the immense navies of stars and galaxies,
            dust clouds and nebulae
Are recalled home, they crush against each other in one
            harbor, they stick in one lump
And then explode it, nothing can hold them down; there is no
            way to express that explosion; all that exists
Roars into flame, the tortured fragments rush away from each 
            other into all the sky, new universes
Jewel the black breast of night; and far off the outer nebulae 
            like charging spearmen again
Invade emptiness.
                                No wonder we are so fascinated with 
        fireworks
And our huge bombs: it is a kind of homesickness perhaps for
        the howling fireblast that we were born from.

But the whole sum of the energies
That made and contain the giant atom survives. It will 
        gather again and pile up, the power and the glory--
And no doubt it will burst again; diastole and systole: the 
        whole universe beats like a heart.
Peace in our time was never one of God's promises; but back 
        and forth, live and die, burn and be damned,
The great heart beating, pumping into our arteries His 
        terrible life.
                            He is beautiful beyond belief.
And we, God's apes--or tragic children--share in the beauty.
        We see it above our torment, that's what life's for.
He is no God of love, no justice of a little city like Dante's
        Florence, no anthropoid God
Making commandments,: this is the God who does not care
        and will never cease. Look at the seas there
Flashing against this rock in the darkness--look at the
        tide-stream stars--and the fall of nations--and dawn
Wandering with wet white feet down the Caramel Valley to
        meet the sea. These are real and we see their beauty.
The great explosion is probably only a metaphor--I know not
        --of faceless violence, the root of all things.

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Poet: Robinson Jeffers
Poem: The Great Explosion
Volume: Tamar
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