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Robinson Jeffers and the American Sublime$
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Robert Zaller

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804775632

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804775632.001.0001

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The Cosmological Sublime

The Cosmological Sublime

(p.321) 7 The Cosmological Sublime
Robinson Jeffers and the American Sublime
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines Jeffers' later poems. It describes how he extended the cosmological range of his Darwinian meditations, speculating about planetary formation and the origins of terrestrial life. Some of these speculations were fanciful; in “The Great Wound”, he imagined the moon as formed by the gravitational pull of a passing “star” on the primordial molten surface of the earth, thus scooping out the Pacific basin. It was not to the beauty near at hand that Jeffers increasingly turned, but to the ultimate mystery of the cosmological vista, a world beyond sensation, beyond calculation, and almost beyond thought.

Keywords:   Robinson Jeffers, cosmos, cosmology, The Great Wound

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