Bixby's Landing

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



They burned lime on the hill and dropped it down
     here in an iron car
On a long cable; here the ships warped in
And took their loads from the engine, the water
     is deep to the cliff. The car
Hangs half way over in the gape of the gorge,
Stationed like a north star above the peaks of
     the redwoods, iron perch
For the little red hawks when they cease from
     hovering
When they've struck prey; the spider's fling of a
     cable rust-glued to the pulleys.
The laborers are gone, but what a good multitude
Is here in return: the rich-lichened rock, the
     rose-tipped stone-crop, the constant
Ocean's voices, the cloud-lighted space.
The kilns are cold on the hill but here in the
     rust of the broken boiler
Quick lizards lighten, and a rattle-snake flows
Down the cracked masonry, over the crumbled
     fire-brick. In the rotting timbers
And roofless platforms all the free companies
Of windy grasses have root and make seed; wild
     buckwheat blooms in the fat
Weather-slacked lime from the bursted barrels.
Two duckhawks darting in the sky of their cliff-hung
     nest are the voice of the headland.
Wine-hearted solitude, our mother the wilderness,
Men's failures are often as beautiful as men's
     triumphs, but your returnings
Are even more precious than your first presence.

Submitted by Holt

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 30, 2023

1:08 min read
102

Quick analysis:

Scheme XAXBAXXXXXCDECXXCBXXXDXXXXEXXDX X
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,301
Words 222
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 31, 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

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