Robinson Jeffers’s Sacramental Poetics
The introduction places Jeffers’s sacramental poetics in the contexts of literary modernism and environmental history, arguing that his achievement has been neglected in literary history because of the dominance of experimental modernism, whereas he is often placed at the center of twentieth-century environmental history because he locates divinity in material nature. The dominant form of modernist nature poetry treats the divinity of nature as an epistemological problem, and it thereby leaves the poet in the position of choosing transcendent divinity or purely material nature. Jeffers refuses to choose either side of this dualism and instead sees the divinity of nature as an ontological issue, one which requires belief rather than scepticism to create a dialectic between spirit and matter.
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