A Quote by Joaquin Miller on bitterness, cities, country, death, good, heart, lies, men, motherhood, nature, order, poetry, time, traditions, and water

Oregon proper is a sort of nut - a nut with a sweet, rich kernel, but also with a bitter bark and rind-through which you have to gnaw in order to reach the kernel. Portland is the bark or rind. The rich heart of the richest young State in the Union lies nearly two hundred miles in the interior. Portland sits at the seadoor - the very gates of the State. The Orient has met the Occident here in this westmost town. One of these new men, speculator in town lots and land, who was clad in a slouch hat and enormous mud-boots reaching almost to the knees, approached me in Portland. He carried an umbrella thrust up under his arm, while his two forefingers hooked and wrestled resolutely together as he stood before me. He chewed tobacco violently, and now and then fired a brown stream far up and down the new pine sidewalk. "Can't you put this city into poetry? Yes, you kin. What's poetry good for, if it can't rize the price of land? Jist tell 'em we never had a shake. Yes, an' tell 'em that the old men never die; but jist git kivered with moss and blow away. An' tell 'em - yes tell 'em that the timber grows so tall that it takes a man an' two small boys to see to the top of a tree! Yes, an' tell 'em that we have to tie poles to the cows' horns, to let the wrinkles run out on. Yes, biggest country, richest country an' dogondest healthiest country this side of Jerichol! Yes, it is." Drip! drip! drip! Slop! slop! slop! incessantly and all the time, for an uninterrupted half a year, here in this mossy, moldy town of Portland. Rain! rain! rain! until the trees grow out of the cracks and roofs of the houses, and until, tradition says, Mother Nature comes to the aid of the inhabitants and makes them web-footed, like the water-fowl. And even then, and in the face of all this, this man stood up before me with the water fairly bending his umbrella from the weight of the rain - the rain running down his nose, his head, his hair - and there he smilingly bowed and protested that it did not really rain much in Portland; but that down about the mouth of the Columbia, at Astoria, it did "sometimes rain a-right smart."

Joaquin Miller (1837 - 1914)

Source: The New and the Old

Contributed by: Zaady