Books: Homesick for Death

THE BEGINNING AND THE END (74 pp.) —Robinson Jeffers—Random House ($3.95).

For 50 years, Robinson Jeffers lived in isolation on the coast of California, preferring the company of hawks and vultures to that of people. His poems are filled with a scorn of mankind and a love of nature—not just of its beauty but of its violence, its merciless indifference. Jeffers' notion of Utopia was like no other: "The cities gone down, the people fewer and the hawks more numerous."

When Jeffers died last year at 75, he was not much missed. For obvious...

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