Robinson Jeffers

(10 January 1887 – 20 January 1962 / Allegheny, Pennsylvania)

Quotations

  • ''If civilization goes down, that
    Would be an event to contemplate.
    It will not be in our time, alas, my dear,
    It will not be in our time.''
    Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), U.S. poet. May—June, 1940 (l. 22-25). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
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  • ''It would be better for men
    To be few and live far apart, where none could infect another; then
    slowly the sanity of field and mountain
    And the cold ocean and glittering stars might enter their minds.''
    Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), U.S. poet. May—June, 1940 (l. 5-7). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''the dive-bomber's screaming orgasm
    As beautiful as other passions;''
    Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), U.S. poet. May—June, 1940 (l. 12-13). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''And why do you cry, my dear, why do you cry?
    It is all in the whirling circles of time.
    If millions are born millions must die,''
    Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), U.S. poet. May—June, 1940 (l. 16-18). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''They dance with reluctance, they are growing civilized; the old men
    persuade them.''
    Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), U.S. poet. New Mexican Mountain (l. 4). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''Only the drum is confident, it thinks the world has not changed;''
    Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), U.S. poet. New Mexican Mountain (l. 5). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''civilization is a transient sickness.''
    Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), U.S. poet. New Mexican Mountain (l. 12). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''Life is grown sweeter and lonelier,
    And death is no evil.''
    Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), U.S. poet. Night (l. 64-65). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.
  • ''And life, the flicker of men and moths and the wolf on the hill,
    Though furious for continuance, passionately feeding, passionately
    Remaking itself upon its mates, remembers deep inward
    The calm mother, the quietness of the womb and the egg,''
    Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), U.S. poet. Night (l. 51-54). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.
  • ''O passionately at peace when will that tide draw shoreward,''
    Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), U.S. poet. Night (l. 47). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.

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Fawn's Foster-Mother

The old woman sits on a bench before the door and quarrels
With her meagre pale demoralized daughter.
Once when I passed I found her alone, laughing in the sun
And saying that when she was first married
She lived in the old farmhouse up Garapatas Canyon.
(It is empty now, the roof has fallen
But the log walls hang on the stone foundation; the redwoods
Have all been cut down, the oaks are standing;
The place is now more solitary than ever before.)

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