Chief Work8

Chief Work8 - Chief Works"Shine Perishing...

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Unformatted text preview: Chief Works "Shine, Perishing Republic" (1925), Jeffers' most anthologized piece, contemplates the natural attrition of nations, which follow the flower in a three-stage development: fruit, decay, and absorption into earth. Characterizing the fall to earth as "home to the mother," the poet urges, "You making haste haste on decay," a deliberate repetition through a double beat to illuminate the rhythm of the process. With heavy irony, he impels the republic to emulate a meteor in hurrying toward a bright- hued demise. At the beginning of the fourth stanza, the poet steps aside from personal wish to ponder his children, who risk corruption at "the thickening center," a viscid image that calls up visions of volcanic lava. Encouraging his sons to rise above fallen cities into moral mountains, like a god-driven Moses, he exhorts, "be in nothing so moderate as in love of man." The crux of the poem lies in the source of exhorts, "be in nothing so moderate as in love of man....
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  • Fall '08
  • staff
  • Deliberate repetition, Perishing Republic, haste haste, heavy irony, viscid image, three­stage development

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