Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
One of the great but neglected American poets of the Twentieth Century was Robinson Jeffers, whose words are like chisels striking the hard granite of his thought.
Read Robinson Jeffers
Read Robinson Jeffers and learn to hew
The strong line from thought as firm as stone
With words sharp as chisels, hard as hammers.
Make it sing like wind in twisted cypress,
Waves warring with the granite sea-cliffs.
Make it speak the slow sanity
Of field and wood beneath the winter sky.
Learn to love the world for what it is,
Embracing pain if pain is what is real—
The harder mysticism of the West:
To love the world outside the brain-vault. Seek
The peace that’s almost there in solitude.
Read his poetry and learn his madness:
A heart hurt by hawks and not quite healed
By sea-voice, cypress, starlit distances
Between the mountains and mankind’s corruption.
Knew the Sickness, knew Redeemer Death
The only way to be cleansed, and did not know
It had been died already; saw the wild
God of the world from afar and partly loved him.
Tell his tragedy: never knew him.
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.