On Robinson Jeffers (at At Length)

Posted on: July 25th, 2013

Robinson Jeffers lived on California’s Big Sur coast and his poetry is full of the energy of that sublime landscape. Big Sur has had many visitors since Jeffers, and most of them go for landscape, though now you can get a massage at Esalen and an overpriced meal nearly everywhere. But Jeffers loved ruined majesty. One of his best short poems, “Hurt Hawks,” has palpable pith that feels noble and brave at the same time. Even though the poem is saying something contrarian, its voice can be likeably aphoristic: “I’d sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk.”

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