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The Eye by Robinson Jeffers

The Atlantic is a stormy moat; and the Mediterranean,
The blue pool in the old garden,
More than five thousand years has drunk sacrifice
Of ships and blood, and shines in the sun; but here the Pacific–
Our ships, planes, wars are perfectly irrelevant.
Neither our present blood-feud with the brave dwarfs
Nor any future world-quarrel of westering
And eastering man, the bloody migrations, greed of power, clash of
Is a speck of dust on the great scale-pan.
Here from this mountain shore, headland beyond stormy headland
plunging like dolphins through the blue sea-smoke
Into pale sea–look west at the hill of water: it is half the
this dome, this half-globe, this bulging
Eyeball of water, arched over to Asia,
Australia and white Antartica: those are the eyelids that never
this is the staring unsleeping
Eye of the earth; and what it watches is not our wars.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ghostsniper August 12, 2022, 6:02 PM

    It’s vast man.

    • Vanderleun August 12, 2022, 6:08 PM

      And it’s full of stars!

  • Nori August 12, 2022, 9:11 PM

    Eyeball of water,vast stars above.
    Dad flew a P-51 in that Pacific vastness,long ago. He loved flying that bird especially,but night flights over the dark,immutable deep gave him pause.
    Am quite certain he would agree “this is the staring unsleeping Eye of the earth;and what it watches is not our wars.”

  • Francis W. Porretto August 13, 2022, 3:48 AM

    It’s a pity Jeffers isn’t better known today. He had more to say, and said it better, than the great majority of the poseurs that produce “poetry” in our time. “Hurt Hawks” and “The Stars Go Over the Lonely Ocean” should be read and remembered for as long as Mankind lasts.

  • pbird August 13, 2022, 6:31 AM

    Awed. Truly.

  • Boat Guy August 13, 2022, 7:16 PM

    “Pacific” is a misomer.
    Yet…of a quiet midwatch, porpoises playing in the bow wave and all of the stars God created above us…t’was magic

  • bob sykes August 14, 2022, 1:06 PM

    “Here from this mountain shore…” Undoubtedly written at his self-built home, Tor House and Hawk Tower, in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

    He remains one of my favorite poets. No English course I ever took in high school or college ever mentioned him, and I discovered him by accident browsing in a book store. None of the courses mentioned him, either.

    I discovered Tolkien, also by accident, in a drug store.