February 21, 2007
We’ve been here before, for whatever comfort that might offer. Maybe we never left. At any rate, here’s Shine, Perishing Republic by Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962):
While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire,
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence; and home to the mother.
You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains: shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster's feet there are left the mountains.
And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught — they say — God, when he walked on earth.
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at February 21, 2007 06:37 PM
And to think he was writing when nobody had even heard of Karl Rove or Paris Hilton or Donald Trump. Jeffers is lucky he died when he did.
The United States reminds me of a Replicant in Blade Runner: Too perfect, too powerful, too smart and beyond human.
"So they came out with a security device... a short life span."
Trouble is, there's never a Harrison Ford around when you need one.
When California finally breaks off the continent and becomes an island, do we still have to be part of America?