Birth-Dues

Robinson Jeffers 1887 (Allegheny) – 1962 (Carmel-by-the-Sea)



Joy is a trick in the air; pleasure is merely
     contemptible, the dangled
Carrot the ass follows to market or precipice;
But limitary pain -- the rock under the tower
     and the hewn coping
That takes thunder at the head of the turret-
Terrible and real. Therefore a mindless dervish
     carving himself
With knives will seem to have conquered the world.

The world's God is treacherous and full of
     unreason; a torturer, but also
The only foundation and the only fountain.
Who fights him eats his own flesh and perishes
     of hunger; who hides in the grave
To escape him is dead; who enters the Indian
Recession to escape him is dead; who falls in
     love with the God is washed clean
Of death desired and of death dreaded.

He has joy, but Joy is a trick in the air; and
     pleasure, but pleasure is contemptible;
And peace; and is based on solider than pain.
He has broken boundaries a little and that will
estrange him; he is monstrous, but not
To the measure of the God.... But I having told
     you--
However I suppose that few in the world have
     energy to hear effectively-
Have paid my birth-dues; am quits with the
     people.

Submitted by Holt

Font size:
Collection  PDF     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:03 min read
43

Quick analysis:

Scheme AXBXXXXXX XXCBXCXXX XDXXXXXXAXD X
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,163
Words 209
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 9, 9, 11, 1

Robinson Jeffers

John Robinson Jeffers was an American poet, known for his work about the central California coast. more…

All Robinson Jeffers poems | Robinson Jeffers Books

2 fans

Discuss the poem Birth-Dues with the community...

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Birth-Dues" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32780/birth-dues>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    June 2024

    Poetry Contest

    Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.
    9
    days
    9
    hours
    55
    minutes

    Special Program

    Earn Rewards!

    Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    The long poem “The Waste Land” was written by which poet?
    A Emma Lazarus
    B T. S. Eliot
    C C. S Lewis
    D W. H. Auden