The dozen poems accessible through the links below are an introductory sampler of the poetry of Robinson Jeffers. Jeffers’ original collections typically featured one or more long poems. The length of these narratives and verse dramas precludes presenting any of them here. The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers (Stanford University Press, 2002) offers a fuller, more comprehensive cross-section of the poetry, including the long poems, and the five volumes of The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers (Stanford University Press, 1988-2001) is a comprehensive gathering of his work, which includes, in the fifth volume, the textual histories of the poems, transcriptions of Jeffers’ working notes and discarded passages, and other material relevant to critical and scholarly explorations of the poetry. These editions also feature corrected texts. The most widely available volume, however, is Robinson Jeffers: Selected Poetry, a slim paperback published by Vintage Books soon after Jeffers’ death. The Vintage selection reproduces the poems as originally published, however, and thus it perpetuates a number of textual errors.
from Solstice and Other Poems (1935)
Flight of Swans
from Be Angry at the Sun and Other Poems (1941)
The Day Is a Poem
from The Double Axe and Other Poems (1948)
from Last Poems
“The mathematicians and physics men…”
Please Note: the longer verse lines in some of these poems should appear correctly on a desk top screen, but phone and tablet screens may create additional breaks within verse lines. Viewing the poems landscape rather than portrait on such devices should reduce this problem but may not completely eliminate it.
The poems presented through this page are posted with the permission of Stanford University Press, and these poems should not be circulated or reproduced without securing appropriate permission from the press.