Robinson Jeffers

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Robinson Jeffers (born 1887 – died 1962) was an American poet. Jeffers has been an extremely controversial figure. Politically, he has been claimed by both conservative and liberal readers as a kindred voice. Similarly, his poetry has been cited both for its robust Christianity and its “Nietzchean” effort to look beyond man.

Jeffers’ most famous poem is likely “Shine, Perishing Republic”, which protests against the corruption of American democracy during the urbanization of the 1920s. Many of the poet’s other works play on similar themes of disillusionment, notably “Woodrow Wilson”, and “We Are Those People”. Later in his career Jeffers unflinching view of political morality led some to question his patriotism.

Jeffers was the son of a professor of Old Testament Literature and Biblical History. He married his wife Una in 1913, and the couple remained together until Una’s death in 1950; he never remarried. The couple had two sons.

Further reading

Jeffers, Robinson (1987), “Selected Poems”, Carcenet Press