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Robinson Jeffers - Birth-Dues

Joy is a trick in the air; pleasure is merely 
     contemptible, the dangled
Carrot the ass follows to market or precipice;
But limitary pain -- the rock under the tower 
     and the hewn coping
That takes thunder at the head of the turret-
Terrible and real. Therefore a mindless dervish 
     carving himself
With knives will seem to have conquered the world.


The world's God is treacherous and full of 
     unreason; a torturer, but also
The only foundation and the only fountain.
Who fights him eats his own flesh and perishes 
     of hunger; who hides in the grave
To escape him is dead; who enters the Indian
Recession to escape him is dead; who falls in 
     love with the God is washed clean
Of death desired and of death dreaded.


He has joy, but Joy is a trick in the air; and 
     pleasure, but pleasure is contemptible;
And peace; and is based on solider than pain.
He has broken boundaries a little and that will 
estrange him; he is monstrous, but not
To the measure of the God.... But I having told 
     you--
However I suppose that few in the world have 
     energy to hear effectively-
Have paid my birth-dues; am quits with the 
     people.

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Birth-Dues - Comments and Information

Poet: Robinson Jeffers
Poem: Birth-Dues
Volume: Dear Judas And Other Poems
Poem of the Day: Apr 4 2011
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