Robinson Jeffers (11 Poems)

Please read the work of a talented writer.

word and silence

jeffersRemember when poets made the cover of Time magazine? For probably intersecting reasons, poetry and the public have both failed each other, so that the reputations of people like Robinson Jeffers have pretty much disappeared. But read any of the following poems aloud, and see if you don’t hear something brutal, beautiful, and essential.

Because he spent most of his life in Carmel, California (and built his home, Tor House, on the coast), Jeffers is usually called a “California poet” or an “environmental poet,” but both labels do his universal vision a grave injustice. More at home with Greek and Latin than many of his “Modernist” peers who tried the same pose, he showed it was possible to write seriously, and powerfully, about the difficulties of history and modern life without resorting to the impenetrable difficulty of other poets then and since (no matter how eloquently…

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