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The Summit Redwood Analysis

Author: poem of Robinson Jeffers Type: poem Views: 14

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Only stand high a long enough time your lightning

     will come; that is what blunts the peaks of


But this old tower of life on the hilltop has taken

     it more than twice a century, this knows in


Cell the salty and the burning taste, the shudder

     and the voice.

                      The fire from heaven; it has

     felt the earth's too

Roaring up hill in autumn, thorned oak-leaves tossing

     their bright ruin to the bitter laurel-leaves,

     and all

Its under-forest has died and died, and lives to be

     burnt; the redwood has lived. Though the fire


It cored the trunk while the sapwood increased. The

     trunk is a tower, the bole of the trunk is a

     black cavern,

The mast of the trunk with its green boughs the

     mountain stars are strained through

Is like the helmet-spike on the highest head of an

     army; black on lit blue or hidden in cloud

It is like the hill's finger in heaven. And when the

     cloud hides it, though in barren summer, the


Make their own rain.

                     Old Escobar had a cunning trick

     when he stole beef. He and his grandsons

Would drive the cow up here to a starlight death and

     hoist the carcass into the tree's hollow,

Then let them search his cabin he could smile for

     pleasure, to think of his meat hanging secure

Exalted over the earth and the ocean, a theft like a

     star, secret against the supreme sky.

Submitted by Holt


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