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More poems by Robinson JeffersRobinson Jeffers | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Robinson JeffersBooks by Robinson Jeffers

The Answer

Robinson Jeffers

Then what is the answer?- Not to be deluded by dreams. 
To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence, 
      and their tyrants come, many times before. 
When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose 
      the least ugly faction; these evils are essential. 
To keep one's own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted 
      and not wish for evil; and not be duped 
By dreams of universal justice or happiness. These dreams will 
      not be fulfilled. 
To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear 
      the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand 
Is an ugly thing and man dissevered from the earth and stars 
      and his history... for contemplation or in fact... 
Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness, 
      the greatest beauty is 
Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty 
      of the universe. Love that, not man 
Apart from that, or else you will share man's pitiful confusions, 
      or drown in despair when his days darken. 

Added: 2 Mar 2002 | Last Read: 5 Mar 2021 8:27 PM | Viewed: 9375 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/3074/ | Viewed on 5 March 2021.
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