The Man Against the Sky was written in 1916 at a time when all informed citizens in the Western world had begun to grasp the immensity of destruction wrought by political will and the new machineries of death unleashed during the First World War. As a poet, Robinson was also deeply conscious of a widespread devaluation of human life and a growing dismissal of the more subtle dimensions of human experience as encompassed by such terms as soul and spirit.
Among other things, this dramatic poem carries Robinson's impassioned response to the growing worship of science and scientism and the widespread negation of any transcendent meaning to human life by those who at that time espoused and vociferously promoted a materialist view of life.
Although written nearly a century ago, Robinson's depth of questioning continues to resonate into the present time when the philosophical and existential divides as articulated in this poem have, if anything, deepened further.
The Man Against the Sky can be streamed using the media player below. A CD quality audio file is also available for downloading here
Music: Doc and Lena Selyanina, "Lofoten"
With many thanks to Doc and Lena Selyanina who have so generously made available their creative and highly individuated music.
The Man Against the Sky