Poetry on the Road: “Animals” by Robinson Jeffers

This July, Poetry in America board member Nick Simmons took the trip of a lifetime, cycling the Pacific Coast from Canada to Mexico. Nick, a former math teacher and Vice Principal at Success Academy Charter Network in Harlem, was cycling for a cause. His goal? To raise $20,000 to help his former students attend college. 1,200 miles, three countries, and $21,040 later, Nick is back in Cambridge ready to tackle his next challenge: a joint MBA-MPP at the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School.

While Nick was on the road, we sent him some of our favorite California environmental poets to read on his way. Robinson Jeffers, the iconic poet of the Central California coast, resonated with Nick as he biked along the sublime vistas of Big Sur.

At dawn a knot of sea-lions lies off the shore
In the slow swell between the rock and the cliff,
Sharp flippers lifted, or great-eyed heads, as they roll in the sea,
Bigger than draft-horses, and barking like dogs
Their all-night song.”
– from "Animals" by Robinson Jeffers


Learn more about Nick’s trip and donate to his effort here:

Read “Animals” in its entirety at the Poetry Foundation.