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Robinson Jeffers - Wise Men In Their Bad Hours

Wise men in their bad hours have envied 
The little people making merry like grasshoppers 
In spots of sunlight, hardly thinking 
Backward but never forward, and if they somehow 
Take hold upon the future they do it 
Half asleep, with the tools of generation 
Foolishly reduplicating 
Folly in thirty-year periods; the eat and laugh too, 
Groan against labors, wars and partings, 
Dance, talk, dress and undress; wise men have pretended 
The summer insects enviable; 
One must indulge the wise in moments of mockery. 
Strength and desire possess the future, 
The breed of the grasshopper shrills, "What does the future 
Matter, we shall be dead?" Ah, grasshoppers, 
Death's a fierce meadowlark: but to die having made 
Something more equal to the centuries 
Than muscle and bone, is mostly to shed weakness. 
The mountains are dead stone, the people 
Admire or hate their stature, their insolent quietness, 
The mountains are not softened nor troubled 
And a few dead men's thoughts have the same temper.

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Added: May 22 2003 | Viewed: 1064 times | Comments and analysis of Wise Men In Their Bad Hours by Robinson Jeffers Comments (1)

Wise Men In Their Bad Hours - Comments and Information

Poet: Robinson Jeffers
Poem: Wise Men In Their Bad Hours

Comment 1 of 1, added on May 4th, 2010 at 8:31 AM.
Wise men in their bad hours.

I have just begun reading poetry.
Reading this poem a few times I have come to the conclusion it's about death. People who merely live because they have nothing better to do, how they don't care about the past nor the future. They live in the present with no thought about it, they live to be and look to other people to guide. To me it also says how in death we are all equal.

Tara from Sweden

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