Robinson Jeffers: The Original Collections

Each of the titles below is a link to the table of contents for one of Robinson Jeffers’ primary original collections, beginning with the Flagons & Apples, a gathering of apprentice work which he paid a Los Angeles bookshop to publish, and concluding with The Beginning and the End, a posthumous compilation of his final poems. For a complete bibliographic account of these collections, please consult Michael Broomfield’s definitive His Place for Story, Robinson Jeffers: A Descriptive Bibliography (Oak Knoll Press, 2015).

These entries are offered as a complement to the chronological sequencing of the poems in The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers. Reading Jeffers’ poems in the order they were written offers one perspective. Reading them as he structured them in the collections offers an alternative perspective.

These two essays

illustrate something of how our understanding of Jeffers can perhaps be enhanced by attending both to the poems in their actual chronology of composition and the poems as they function within the collections.

Appendix A in Volume 5 of The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers includes transcriptions of preliminary tables of contents for various collections and other documentation bearing on Jeffers’ shaping of the collections. For those interested in Jeffers’ development as a poet, the tables of contents that help document the unpublished collections he assembled between Californians and Tamar and Other Poems are especially significant.