The Poetry of Robinson Jeffers
Reader's Guide - Discussion Questions
- Robinson Jeffers studied literature, philosophy, medicine, and forestry in graduate school. How do these four areas of study inform the subject matter and style of Jeffers’s poetry?
- Jeffers and his wife, Una, discovered the coast of Carmel to be their “inevitable place.” How does this landscape inform his poetry? Where is your “inevitable place”?
- What parallels can you imagine between the building of a stone house and the writing of a poem? Can you find examples of this parallel in Jeffers’s poetry?
- Many mammals and birds— especially the red-tailed hawk and the falcon—appear in Jeffers’s poetry. While his allusions to animals are certainly literal, what symbolic possibilities exist in poems such as “Rock and Hawk” or “Hurt Hawks”?
- in his poem “Carmel Point,” Jeffers declares that “people are a tide / That swells and in time will ebb, and all / Their works dissolve.” How poignant is the parallel Jeffers makes between the human race and the tide?
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