Jeffers in an Existential Nutshell

One of Jeffers’ most characteristic passages occurs in his narrative “Mara” (CP 3:45):

… He smelled the wet delight of the dawn-wind
Dropping down the deep canyon to the dark sea, and saw the
       pearl-tender rose-flood
Lining high distant ridges, while still deep night
Slept in the canyon-trough, a thousand feet down
Under the shoulder of his horse; he felt a fountain of hysterical sadness
Flow up behind his breast-bone through the net of nerves:
      “This is so beautiful:
We are so damned. …”

This passage is more existential than explicitly philosophical, but it carries the tone of tragic beauty that characterizes Jeffers’ most powerful work.

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