Item #124787 Roan Stallion Tamar and Other Poems. Robinson Jeffers.

Roan Stallion Tamar and Other Poems.

New York: Boni & Liverwright, 1925.

8vo, viii, 253 pp. Quarter black cloth and mottled purple boards, gilt decoration and lettering to upper cover and lettering to backstrip. Lacking dust jacket.

§ First edition. An important early title, his second full-scale book of poetry. Roan Stallion combined narrative, drama, violence, Freud, Nietzsche, religion, mysticism, and subtle, rolling rhythms in a way that stirred and invigorated the embodied mind of the reader. Where Tamar had pushed the moral envelope with incest and disembodied rapists, Roan Stallion presented the reader with intimations of what might be playfully termed “mystical bestiality.” This was not the singsong verse of traditional English poetry, nor the cold, photographic imagism of modern verse. It was not religious in the common sense, nor was it humanistic. To Jeffers, humanism was a sort of narcissism—even incest, and he strove to bring that message home to the reader with the full, flowing force of a narrative verse too serious for rhyme or arithmetic meter, and too sacred to be prose.

The new collection also included a work of dramatic verse—in the form of Greek tragedy. The drama, based on the Oresteia, took the severe drama of Greek tragedy and turned its disastrous end toward a higher, inhuman resolution.

Among the short poems was Shine, Perishing Republic. This oft-anthologized favorite strove to comfort America in her inevitable downfall while turning the Christian theme of a man-loving God on its head, making the Crucifixion more like Greek tragedy than messianic redemption. Broomfield A5a. Item #124787

Price: $300.00

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