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RJA 2014

As of this time a year ago I'd never heard of the Robinson Jeffers Association, but this year I actually presented on fire in Robinson Jeffers's poetry (not exactly on topic, but I'd been obsessing over the topic so I submitted a summary and it was accepted). It was a truly eye-opening experience, and yes, in a great way. The family, complete with dog, came by on Sunday afternoon, and we stayed Sunday night in Carmel, then on Monday we got in a tour of Tor House and Hawk Tower, and we also paid a visit to Trethaway Cottage. Not a bad weekend!

Mount Carmel

When I headed out Sunday afternoon, I had serious doubts about the trail from Devils Peak to Mount Carmel, but the trail turned out to be in great shape (in spite of cutting through some wicked bush), which was a good thing because darkness was already falling fast by the time my return leg began. Beautiful sunset from the top!

Looking west from Devil's Peak

Photos by Dan Jensen, 2013.

Pico Blanco

I headed up to Pico Blanco from Bottchers Gap Sunday. It was a bit steep and leafy in places, and I made a couple of bad route choices, but otherwise it went well. Beautiful, but if I do this again I'll take the road from the west.

Photos by Dan Jensen, 2013.

Original Sin

To the poet Robinson Jeffers, the eagle is a symbol of something like divine consciousness. Man, in contrast, is more like an inauspicious microbe. Man and eagle do have this in common: they both use fire. This is obvious in the case of man. For Jeffers, the eagle is an opportunist, seeking game and carrion in the wake of wildfires.

Elijah's Burnt Offerings

When our son Michael was ten years old, he’d been given a school assignment to find two poems. When I saw what Michael had selected, I was a little surprised. Soon after that, his teacher reported to us that Michael’s choices weren’t appropriate for 5th grade. They were both Jeffers poems. If memory serves, one of them was Shine, Perishing Republic—let’s just say not exactly the Pledge of Allegiance. The other involved a woman torturing a horse.

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