Not Man Apart

25 février 2014,

Robinson Jeffers le poète californien mort en 1962 à Carmel, nous a laissé cet admirable poème: “L’homme n’est pas à part”, qui a inspiré tout le mouvement écologique américain. Il donna son titre au journal de l’association américaine Friends of the earth. Nous l’avons déjà souvent cité. Nous ne savons pas s’il existe une traduction française autorisée. Le quel de nos lecteurs se proposera pour  le traduire ?

Robinson Jeffers
(Portrait by Ansel Adams)

Then what is the answer?– Not to be deluded by dreams.
To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence,
and their tyrants come, many times before.
When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose
the least ugly faction; these evils are essential.
To keep one’s own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted
and not wish for evil; and not be duped
By dreams of universal justice or happiness. These dreams will
not be fulfilled.
To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear
the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand
Is an ugly thing and man dissevered from the earth and stars
and his history… for contemplation or in fact…
Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness,
the greatest beauty is
Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty
of the universe. Love that, not man
Apart from that, or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,
or drown in despair when his days darken.

— Robinson Jeffers