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Mountain Pines by Robinson Jeffers | Poets.org

Mountain Pines

 

In scornful upright loneliness they stand,
Counting themselves no kin of anything
Whether of earth or sky. Their gnarled roots cling
Like wasted fingers of a clutching hand
In the grim rock. A silent spectral band
They watch the old sky, but hold no communing
With aught. Only, when some lone eagle's wing
Flaps past above their grey and desolate land,
Or when the wind pants up a rough-hewn glen,
Bending them down as with an age of thought,
Or when, 'mid flying clouds that can not dull
Her constant light, the moon shines silver, then
They find a soul, and their dim moan is wrought
Into a singing sad and beautiful.

Jeffers brought a great knowledge of literature, religion, philosophy, language, myth, and science to his poetry. One of his favorite themes was the intense, rugged beauty of the landscape set in opposition to the degraded and introverted condition of modern man. Strongly influenced by Nietzsche's concepts of individualism, Jeffers believed that human beings had developed a self-centered view of the world, and felt passionately that they should learn to have greater respect for the rest of creation.

 

Robinson Jeffers was an American poet, born on January 10, 1887, in Pennsylvania. Jeffers is
remembered for his short verse poetry, much of which is set in the Carmel and Big Sur regions of central California. An icon of the environmental movement, Jeffers was influential and highly regarded, despite his inhumanism, a word he coined to express his belief that mankind is too indifferent to "the beauty of things." Jeffers lived in Carmel, California, for the majority of his adult life, and died there in 1962.
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