Mountain Pines by Robinson Jeffers | Poets.org

  • Sat Dec 28th, 2013 6:22pm
  • Life

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.