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Voices of the Headland

Robinson Jeffers and the Bird of Prey


Alan J. Malnar

Voices of the Headland: Robinson Jeffers and the Bird of Prey explores the image of the raptor in the poetry of Robinson Jeffers. Emanating from the continent’s end of the American West, Jeffers’ poetic eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, and other birds of prey symbolize the compelling presence and voice of nature, a pantheistic universe of beauty and splendor, death and destruction. It is the perilous bird of prey which calls forth the very essence and life-force of Jeffers himself, winging its way through his expansive body of narrative and lyrical verse, a poetry fundamentally anti-social in its vision and primitive in its basic, instinctual surge. Voices of the Headland examines this distinctive imagery from many critical viewpoints.


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Credits and Acknowledgements


The author would like to thank the following institutions for permission to reprint:

Poems from The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, edited by Tim Hunt, Volumes 1–4, by Robinson Jeffers. Copyright © 1988 (Vol.1); 1989 (Vol.2); 1991 (Vol.3); 2000 (Vol. 4) by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Jr. University. All rights reserved, reprinted by permission of the publisher, Stanford University Press,

By Robinson Jeffers, from Cawdor and Medea, copyright © 1946 by Robinson Jeffers. Reprinted by permission from New Directions Publishing Corporation.

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