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Man and God in the works of Robinson Jeffers.


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Beilke, Marlan,1940- 1972 , 'Man and God in the works of Robinson Jeffers.', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Man and God in the Works of Robinson Jeffers
Two of the greatest questions-any man can ask and attempt
to answer in his lifetime were consistently handled by Robinson,
Jeffers in his poetry: "Who is God?" and "What is man?" This
thesis attempts through extensive reference to Jeffers' innermost-thoughts as faithfully
recorded in his short poems to plot
the record of the poet's wrestling with "these questions; old
coins /Rubbed faceless, dateless." Robinson Jeffers' considerations
of the primordial human yearning for God and the conjectural
provenance of man rank him in the rare company of the.
great poets.
Over the; years Robinson Jeffers wrote little Which revealed
a basic new. concept of God, but he did much to emphasize and
elucidate the nature and divine attributes of God. With man the
case.: s somewhat different. Jeffers' view of man did 'alter--
slightly. The early Jeffers anticipated the possibility of
man embracing a rational; and natural deity. Experience indicated otherwise
and the poet's view of man never warm or encomiastic,
became colder still and more searchingly realistic. The
appalling spectacle of the Second World War only served to vindicate
Jeffers' harsh view of man, a view which he staunchly
held to his death. On the other hand, Jeffers' vision for man, based as it is on the poet's love of his God, did not alter over the years.
Robinson Jeffers felt from the outset that man, while he had
not yet begun to attain his spiritual potential, had an honorable
future before him. Even in his own lifetime, Jeffers
held that man already possessed the wherewithal (but none of
the resolve) to "choose truth" at last. This discrepancy between
man's potential and his actual performance deeply grieved
and dismayed the poet of Tor House. To the end, however, Robinson
Jeffers cherished the long-term hope that man might one
day "Come of age", that, in the words of an old friend, humanity
might "pass through the present crisis, and emerge in a
complete renascence of godliness." The searing impact of Jeffers' religious experience provides
the core for his poetry. More than any other factor,
Robinson Jeffers' theology is central to the understanding of
what he actually wrote. His view of the omnipotent, monistic,
self-torturing God of fate is the primum mobile of Jeffers'
achievement as poet.
Because he is so intensely religious, Jeffers has been intensely
misunderstood in his own secular age. The God whose
signature is the beauty of things is undeniably present in the
natural world Jeffers felt to be divine. But an order of men
devoutly in tune with the God of Robinson Jeffers' poetry is
yet to be born.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Beilke, Marlan,1940-
Keywords: Jeffers, Robinson
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright [Published Date as found in Millennium record] the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Additional Information:

Thesis (M.A.) - University of Tasmania, 1972. Bibliography: l. 255-258

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