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Ascent To The Sierras Analysis

Author: poem of Robinson Jeffers Type: poem Views: 12

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Beyond the great valley an odd instinctive rising

Begins to possess the ground, the flatness gathers

        to little humps and

barrows, low aimless ridges,

A sudden violence of rock crowns them. The crowded

        orchards end, they

have come to a stone knife;

The farms are finished; the sudden foot of the

        slerra. Hill over hill,

snow-ridge beyond mountain gather

The blue air of their height about them.

               Here at the foot of the pass

The fierce clans of the mountain you'd think for

        thousands of years,

Men with harsh mouths and eyes like the eagles' hunger,

Have gathered among these rocks at the dead hour

Of the morning star and the stars waning

To raid the plain and at moonrise returning driven

Their scared booty to the highlands, the tossing horns

And glazed eyes in the light of torches. The men have

        looked back

Standing above these rock-heads to bark laughter

At the burning granaries and the farms and the town

That sow the dark flat land with terrible rubies...

        lighting the dead...

             It is not true: from this land

The curse was lifted; the highlands have kept peace

        with the valleys; no

blood in the sod; there is no old sword

Keeping grim rust, no primal sorrow. The people are

        all one people, their

homes never knew harrying;

The tribes before them were acorn-eaters, harmless

        as deer. Oh, fortunate

earth; you must find someone

To make you bitter music; how else will you take bonds

        of the future,

against the wolf in men's hearts?

Submitted by Holt


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