The Shape of the Journey: New & Collected Poems
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
"This is poetry worth loving, hating, and fighting over."―The New York Times Book Review
Here is the definitive collection of poetry from one of America’s best-loved writers―now available in paperback. With the publication of this book, eight volumes of poetry were brought back into print, including the early nature-based lyrics of Plain Song, the explosive Outlyer & Ghazals, and the startling "correspondence" with a dead Russian poet in Letters to Yesenin. Also included is an introduction by Harrison, several previously uncollected poems, and "Geo-Bestiary," a 34-part paean to earthly passions. The Shape of the Journey confirms Jim Harrison’s place among the most brilliant and essential poets writing today.
"Behind the words one always feels the presence of a passionate, exuberant man who is at the same time possessed of a quick, subtle intelligence and a deeply questioning attitude toward life. Harrison writes so winningly that one is simply content to be in the presence of a writer this vital, this large-spirited."―The New York Times Book Review
"(An) untrammelled renegade genius… here’s a poet talking to you instead of around himself, while doing absolutely brilliant and outrageous things with language."―Publishers Weekly
"Readers can wander the woods of this collection for a lifetime and still be amazed at what they find."―Booklist (starred review.)
When the cloth edition of this book was first published, it immediately became one of Copper Canyon Press’s all-time bestsellers. It was featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac, became a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was selected as one of the "Top-Ten Books of 1998" by Booklist.
Jim Harrison is the author of dozens of books, including Legends of the Fall and In Search of Small Gods. He has also written numerous screenplays and served as the food columnist for Esquire magazine. He lives in Montana and Arizona.
Amid pale green milkweed, wild clover,
a rotted deer
after a winter so cold
the trees split open.
I think she couldn't keep up with
the others (they had no place
to go) and her food,
frozen grass and twigs,
his personal record. There was a story of a lost child who remained lost & starved to death hiding in a hollow log from both animals and searchers. Cuba is off there beyond the Tortugas, forever invisible; Isle of Pines where Crane wept, collecting tons of starfish and eels. Her love was committed to horses and poets weighing less than 150 lbs. I weigh 200 and was not allowed into her Blue Fuck Room. XVIII I told the dark-haired girl to come down out of the apple tree and take
health hazards, it’s a white-on-white jigsaw puzzle in one piece. An hour with the doctor yesterday when he said my blood pressure was so high I might explode as if I had just swallowed an especially tasty grenade. I must warn my friends not to stand too close. Blood can be poisonous; the Kikuyu in Kenya are often infected when they burrow hacking away in the gut of an elephant. Some don’t come back. But doctors don’t say such things, except W.C. Williams. Just like your doctor when you
to punish anyone, from confusing it with a gun, harpoon, cannon, sword, cudgel, Louisville Slugger. It just sits there in the dark, shy and friendly like the new kid at school. In our poetry we want to rub our nose hard into whatever is before it; to purge these dreams of pictures, photos, phantom people. She offers a flex of butt, belly button, breasts, slight puff of veneris, gap in teeth often capped, grace of knees, high cheekbones and neck, all the thickness of paper. The
orange orange flowers the only things that rhyme with orange the one rabbit in the pasture one fly buzzing at the window a single hot wind through the window a man sitting at my desk resembling me. He sneaks up on the temple slowly at noon. He’s so slow it seems like it’s taking years. Now his hands are on a pillar, the fingers encircling it, with only the tips inside the gate. After all of this long moist dreaming I perceive how accurate the rooster’s crow is from down the
born, or far out in the ocean where she drowned, precisely where I once saw two giant sea turtles making love. Full fathom five thy lovely sister lies, tumbling north in the Gulfstream current, but then the soul rose up as vapor, blown west- ward to the Sea of Cortez, up a canyon, inhabiting this quetzal bird who chose to appear at my window. This all took three seconds by my geologic watch. 26 In Montana the badger looks at me in fear and buries himself where he stood in the