George Hart and Robinson Jeffers

Hart – Hawk

Hart – Hawk

Monday, August 26, 2013

It’s been several days since I’ve had time to give much thought to my blog. A week ago, one of my three younger brothers in San Diego called on the phone and said I should drive down to review my 91-year-old mother’s situation. The next day, my wife, Linda, and I were driving her up to Long Beach. I’m afraid that what is happening in my family is more fit for a diary or a piece of fiction, so entries in the coming weeks may be too few to retain even the few people who check on this blog. By the time I get back to it on any kind of steady basis, perhaps it will have become nothing more than a diary posted on-line. If this entry is the way-station to a mirror held up to the form and pressure of my age (going on 66), then let it be a note that reflects my sense of good fortune in having a chance in the fifth act of my life to become part of a scholarly community.

Classes started at CSULB today, and the best part of arriving on campus was spotting George Hart on my way up to my office to prepare for the first of the three classes I’ll teach this semester. I first met George at an American Literature Association conference in Long Beach, back when I was still a grad student at UCSD and I subsequently had the pleasure of organizing a panel in 2003, when the MLA was in San Diego, in which George presented a paper. He has a major book out on Robinson Jeffers, which everyone interested in 20th century poetry should get a copy of. The good news is that it is fairly affordable. In fact, it’s even on Kindle. I myself may not have a chance to read it until after the semester’s over, but it is at the top of the list of the books I want to read before then.

Perhaps I am wrong in suggesting the following connection, but I’m going to put it out here and see how it, in fact, plays out. One of the Beat poets I’ve long admired is Michael McClure, who summed up his ecocritical stance with the declaration, “I am a mammal patriot.” My guess at this point is that Hart’s book will help elucidate McClure’s espousal of a biologically-based consciousness. I look forward to finding out if my hunch proves correct.

Here are the details:

Title: Inventing the Language to Tell It: Robinson Jeffers and the Biology of Consciousness

Author: George Hart

Publisher: Fordham University Press