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Inventing the Language to Tell ItRobinson Jeffers and the Biology of Consciousness$
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George Hart

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254897

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254897.001.0001

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The Jeffers Influence and the Middle Generation

(p.126) Conclusion
Inventing the Language to Tell It

George Hart

Fordham University Press

The conclusion examines how the Californian poets a generation younger than Jeffers responded to his work and how Kenneth Rexroth’s and William Everson’s disagreement over the value of his work effectively obscured Jeffers’s role as a poetic precursor. It also considers the influence of Jeffers’s anti-war poetry on the draft-age poets Everson and Robert Duncan, whose conscientious objection to World War II was in part based on their reading of his work. The conclusion contends that Jeffers’s influence has been erased by the lack of consensus among the middle generation poets who follow him, but their extension of his sacramental poetics in the search for the divine in the universe nonetheless confirms his legacy as a central poet in American literary history.

Keywords:   Kenneth Rexroth, William Everson, Robert Duncan, influence

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