The mad girl with the staring eyes and long white fingers
Hooked in the stones of the wall,
The storm-wrack hair and screeching mouth: does it matter, Cassandra,
Whether the people believe
Your bitter fountain? Truly men hate the truth, they`d liefer
Meet a tiger on the road.
Therefore the poets honey their truth with lying; but religion –
Vendors and political men
Pour from the barrel, new lies on the old, and are praised for kind
Wisdom. Poor bitch be wise.
No: you`ll still mumble in a corner a crust of truth, to men
And gods disgusting – you and I, Cassandra.
~~ Robinson Jeffers ~~
Robinson Jeffers was an American poet best known in his time, for a classic narrative and epic form of writing, but among these weightier works are smaller, more intimate comments about his political and environmental concerns, which speak to us more readily today. he was an acute individualist, who never felt attraction towards any particular kind of trendy, avant – garde style; he was, as Shakespeare`s Richard III told himself in one of his sly and wickedly amusing asides to the audience, “Myself alone”. Jeffers was a religious poet who eschewed ( as he saw it) the hypocrisy of religious institutions, and travelled a road of personal spirituality. The beauty of the landscape that Jeffers encountered where he lived in Carmel, inspired nearly all the poetry he wrote, and imbues his poetry with a profound love and respect for the natural world.
Cassandra is a warning against the crooked guile and silken tongues of the false prophets of politics, religion and commercialism: we constantly allow ourselves to be lulled by the siren`s song; the Kingdom of Heaven is ours, if only we vote for this, buy that, or give money to the preacher. We are enslaved by our own desire to believe what we want to hear; our blindness and deafness to what our greedy, selfish materialism is doing to the world in order to feed our vanity, is present in every single line. We will sell our souls for a mumbled crust of truth. Poor bitch be wise for once.