January 10, 2009

The flower fades to make fruit

Among the many other things today undoubtedly is, it's also Robinson Jeffers's (Jeffers'? hmm.) birthday. So, happy birthday Robinson Jeffers. According to my sources, Jeffers was born in Pittsburgh, though it doesn't seem to have held him back none.

I remember going over "Shine, Perishing Republic," which is one of my favorite poems, in class a while back, and the footnote in the text mentioned bread baking or candle making or something like that, and it surprised me, because it seemed obvious to me that the metaphor in the first stanza was about a foundry.

What a good poem. When I finish reading it, I want to read it again. I find it perversely affirmative, and that's just plain fun to say.


Rosemary said...

I'd never even heard of Robinson Jeffers until I took an undergraduate course in 20th-century American poetry, where we spent what seemed to me then like an inordinate amount of time on Jeffers.

*My* favorite poem of his to teach has always been "Hurt Hawks." Never has anyone written such a beautiful poem about killing an injured animal!

Pathetically (as per your other recent post, Jim), I often had to get someone else in class to read it, because I'd always choke up on the last stanza.

JB said...

I remember Karla talking about how much she loved Jeffers. I don't think he was even on the radar in the graduate modern poetry course I had though.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wish we'd been able to have the poetry course in a different setting, so we could talk about what some of them were really about. Not necessarily Jeffers, more the stuff from the 40s-60s. Not that you ever censored, there was just always that beam-of-restraint coming from ... somewhere near the science building, maybe.