Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | March 1, 2008

The Time is not a Strong Prison

But the time is not a strong prison either.

A little scraping of the walls of dishonest contractor’s concrete

Through a shower of chips and sand makes freedom.

Shake the dust from your hair.

This mountain sea-coast is real

For it reaches out far into the past and future;

It is part of the great and timeless excellence of things.

From the poem ‘A Little Scraping’ by Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962)

Jeffers and the Hawk Tower he built on the rocky coast of Carmel in California as a home and place of retreat for himself and his family. See The Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation site.

Robinson Jeffers



  1. I love Jeffers… and this passage in particular:

    A little too abstract, a little too wise,
    It is time for us to kiss the earth again,
    It is time to let the leaves rain from the skies,
    Let the rich life run to the roots again.

  2. I like it – but who is the ‘dishonest contractor’ whose concrete we burst through? Are we all (metaphorically speaking) dishonest contractors?!

    Am ashamed to say that I’ve never heard of this poet – yet more stuff for me to read.

    D’you know, reading this blog is costing me a fortune in books 😀

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