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date: 15 June 2024

Jeffers, Robinsonlocked

Jeffers, Robinsonlocked

  • Gerry Cambridge

Extract

Robinson Jeffers is one of the most singular figures in American poetry of the last century: a poet symbolic of the transience of literary fame, considered the equal of Sophocles and Shakespeare in the 1920s and practically forgotten by critics by the 1970s; a poetic extremist who came, as Richard Wilbur wrote all extremists do eventually, “to a sort of grandeur.” For his detractors Jeffers remains a misanthropic isolationist who, from the privilege of his isolation on the California coast at Carmel, had, and has, little to say to our contemporary condition. To his admirers, however, Jeffers's environmental themes can only become more relevant; descriptions like “dignity” and “grandeur” cluster round his work like wildflowers on a cliff face.

Subjects

  • North American Literatures

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