Biography Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers

photo of Robinson Jeffers
  • Time Period1887 - 1962
  • PlacePittsburgh
  • CountryUnited States

Poet Biography

(John) Robinson Jeffers, (1887-1962), Poet, writer; born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He attended six colleges and universities in Europe and America, studying medicine and forestry among other subjects.

He began writing in 1912, and, from 1924 on, lived in seclusion by the ocean near Carmel, Calif., where he built his own stone house. He is known for his mythical lyrics and narrative poems, as in Roan Stallion, Tamar, and Other Poems (1925), most of which promoted his pessimistic view of humanity in the larger scheme of an impersonal cosmos. - Paraphrased from "Robinson Jeffers" by L.C. Powell (1940)

Other notable information:

"His father was a Presbyterian minister and professor of Old Testament literature, who travelled widely in Europe, where much of Jeffers's early education took place. As a boy, Jeffers had tried to fly with homemade wings and many of his poems describe birds or refer to the myth of Icarus - his favorite animal and symbol was the hawk. He attended private schools in Switzerland and Germany and continued his studies of English literature, medicine, and forestry in Los Angeles, Zürich, and Seattle. Jeffers learned several languages - French, Gerrman, Latin and Greek. After inheriting enough money, Jeffers was able to devote himself to writing poetry." As quoted from Pegasos Literature ring

His first book, FLAGONS AND APPLES (1912), was a collection of simple love poems. It was followed by CALIFORNIANS (1916), which described the coastal region and its people. These works attracted little attention.