University of Tasmania
whole_BeilkeMarlan1972_thesis.pdf (11.58 MB)

Man and God in the works of Robinson Jeffers.

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posted on 2023-05-27, 07:14 authored by Beilke, Marlan, 1940-
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."


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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 would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.A.) - University of Tasmania, 1972. Bibliography: l. 255-258

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