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The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers by…
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The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers

by Robinson Jeffers

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192392,750 (4.14)2

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Certainly not my cup of tea and most likely another reason I could give for the general mass of humanity taught at all ages through their schooling experience to not like poetry either. I am sure there are some redeeming qualities of Jeffers' poetry to the historians among us, but that is something I am simply not interested in. Having cultural, civic, and worldly events chronicled through narrative poetry is a media that quickly puts me to sleep and I find no pleasantries in it. My body almost dies, actually. I am grateful, however, for the followers and fans Robinson Jeffers has had and still has and that he somehow offers substance and delight to these precious few. But I will not be one included as an honorary member of that group and neither one of his loyal acolytes. ( )
  MSarki | Mar 31, 2013 |
Robinson Jeffers was born on January 10, 1887. In this, the definitive selection of Jeffers poetry, there is a broad selection that includes his best efforts. Ranging from Roan Stallion and Cawdor from the twenties to his last poems in the late fifties, the collection demonstrates that he belongs in the pantheon with the best poets of the ages. "Rock and Hawk" is both one of his greatest poems and one of my favorites; but I also relish the great thoughts found in some of the smallest poems:
"I am neither mountain nor bird
Nor star: and I seek joy."
Jeffers, who lived on and often wrote about the California coast, is regarded by many as “the father of environmental poetry.” He attracted controversy for his pacifism and his philosophy of “Inhumanism,” which advocated "a shifting of emphasis and significance from man to notman; the rejection of human solipsism and recognition of the trans-human magnificence." But I like to focus on the beauty of his words; for example "Tor House" which is today a popular stop for both literary travelers and environmentalists.
If you should look for this place after a handful of lifetimes:
Perhaps of my planted forest a few
May stand yet, dark-leaved Australians or the coast cypress, haggard
With storm-drift; but fire and the axe are devils.
Look for foundations of sea-worn granite, my fingers had the art
To make stone love stone, you will find some remnant…. ( )
  jwhenderson | Jan 6, 2010 |
Jeffers speaks my language. Hurt Hawks, Shine Perishing Republic, and Stars Go over the Lonely Ocean are but three of the treasures I reflect on often. ( )
  bonehead-ut | Aug 16, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804741085, Paperback)

In 1938 Random House published The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, a volume that would remain in print for more than fifty years. For decades it drew enough poets, students, and general readers to keep Jeffers—in spite of the almost total academic neglect that followed his fame in the 1920s and 1930s—a force in American poetry.

Now scholars are at last beginning to recognize that he created a significant alternative to the High Modernism of Pound, Eliot, and Stevens. Similarly, contemporary poets who have returned to the narrative poem acknowledge Jeffers to be a major poet, while those exploring California and the American West as literary regions have found in him a foundational figure. Moreover, Jeffers stands as a crucial precursor to contemporary attempts to rethink our practical, ethical, and spiritual obligations to the natural world and the environment.

These developments underscore the need for a new selected edition that would, like the 1938 volume, include the long narratives that were to Jeffers his major work, along with the more easily anthologized shorter poems. This new selected edition differs from its predecessor in several ways. When Jeffers shaped the 1938 Selected Poetry, he drew from his most productive period (1917-37), but his career was not over yet. In the quarter century that followed, four more volumes of his poetry were published. This new selected edition draws from these later volumes, and it includes a sampling of the poems Jeffers left unpublished, along with several prose pieces in which he reflects on his poetry and poetics.

This edition also adopts the texts of the recently completed The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers (five volumes, Stanford, 1988-2000). When the poems were originally published, copy editors and typesetters adjusted Jeffers's punctuation, often obscuring the rhythm and pacing of what he actually wrote, and at points even obscuring meaning and nuance. This new selected edition, then, is a much broader, more accurate representation of Jeffers's career than the previous Selected Poetry.

Reviews of volumes in

The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers

"A masterful job of contemporary scholarly editing, this book begins an edition intended to clarify a 'Jeffers canon,' establishing for times to come the verse legacy of a poet who looked on all things with the eyes of eternity."—San Francisco Chronicle

"This edition will be standard . . . a tribute and justice to a poet whose independent strength has survived to challenge personal and public canons."—Virginia Quarterly Review

"Jeffers is the last of the major poets of his generation—Frost, Stevens, Williams, Pound, Moore, Eliot—to get his collected poems. Now that the job is at hand, it is done very well. . . . Tim Hunt has been painstaking in his editorial preparation and judicious in his presentation. . . . A great poet is ready for his due."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"Few American poets are treated as well by publishers as Jeffers is by Stanford University Press. . . . These poems represent a distinctive voice in the American canon, and it is good to have them so wonderfully set forth."—Christian Century

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

This new Jeffers "Selected Poetry" includes poems from the last quarter century of his life (the previous "Selected Poetry" included poems only through 1937). It derives from the monumental five-volume "The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers" (Stanford, 1988-2000), edited by Tim Hunt, and includes a sampling of the poems Jeffers left unpublished, along with several prose pieces in which he reflects on his poetry and poetics.… (more)

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