The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers

The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers

The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers

The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers

Excerpt

This book presents in one volume about half of my published work. In making the selection it was easy to eliminate the poems published in 1912 and 1916, which were only preparatory exercises, to say the best for them; and it was easy to omit a number of shorter poems from later volumes. After that the selection became more or less arbitrary. Several of the longer poems had to be omitted, for I have no desire to publish a "collected works" at this time, but there appears little reason to choose among them. The Women at Point Sur seems to me-in spite of grave faults-the most inclusive, and poetically the most intense, of any of my poems; it is omitted from this selection because it is the least understood and least liked, and because it is the longest. Dear Judas also was not liked and is therefore omitted, though I think it has value, if any of these poems has. Such Counsels You Gave to Me is omitted in order to make room for a number of shorter pieces from the same volume. The omission of Cawdor is purely arbitrary and accidental; I had finally to choose between this and Thurso's Landing; and there was no ground for choice; I simply drew lots in my mind.

The arrangement of the book is merely chronological; the long poems are presented in the order of their writing, the short ones in groups as they were first published. The earliest of the long poems was written, I think, in 1921 and 1922; the earliest of the short ones in 1917. This is The Songs of the Dead Men to the Three Dancers -- choruses from a wartime play -- reprinted here only as a sample of the metrical experiments that occupied my mind for awhile.

A good friend of mine, who is also my publisher, wants me . . .

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