Friday, February 22, 2019

ROBINSON JEFFERS' TOR HOUSE

HAWK TOWER, BUILT ADJACENT TO TOR HOUSE
FOR HIS WIFE UNA

Here's how this week's arts and culture piece begins:

In his day, Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) was one of the nation’s best-loved poets.

He was known mainly for his epic Greek-style poems, modern-day tragedies based on California’s central coast.

He toiled in obscurity, then hit it big around the age of 37, when “Tamar and Other Poems” became a best-seller. Six years later, he was on the cover of Time.

He and his wife, Una, came to Carmel in 1914. After their twin sons were born in 1916, they bought land on an isolated, wind-swept promontory. There were no paved roads, no trees, no neighbors.

Jeffers began hauling stones up the hill from the beach by hand. With no written plans and no formal training in architecture or construction, he built an English garden-style cottage (later expanded) and, from 1920-1924, an adjacent tower of granite.

Tor House he called it, “tor” being a Celtic word meaning “outcropping of rock.”

Today you can take a docent-led tour of Tor House and Hawk Tower on Fridays or Saturdays, reservations required.

Here, you can learn all about the Jeffers’ backstory, which began with a scandal (Una was married when they met; her ex-husband, an LA lawyer, ended up building his own stone house right down the street).

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

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