Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jim Harrison - Renegade, Earthy Poet

Winter Moon by Marion

By Jim Harrison

The moon comes up.
The moon goes down.
This is to inform you
that I didn't die young.
Age swept past me
but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside
world but I said no in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there's no chain.


Flowers, 2001
By Jim Harrison

Near a flowershop off boulevard Raspail
a woman in a sundress bending over,
I'd guess about 49 years of age
in a particular bloom, just entering
the early autumn of her life,
a thousand year old smile on her face
so wide open that I actually shuddered
the same shudder I did in 1989
coming over the tip of a sand dune
and seeing a big bear below me.


Older Love
By Jim Harrison

His wife has asthma
so he only smokes outdoors
or late at night with head
and shoulders well into
the fireplace, the mesquite and oak
heat bright against his face.
Does it replace the heat
that has wandered from love
back into the natural world?
But then the shadow passion casts
is much longer than passion,
stretching with effort from year to year.
Outside tonight hard wind and sleet
from three bald mountains,
and on the hearth before his face
the ashes we’ll all become,
soft as the back of a woman’s knee.

from "Saving Daylight".


"Saving Daylight" is my favorite book by Jim Harrison.  Though he's famous for his fiction, I love his poetry much better than his novels.  He's been compared to both Faulkner and Hemingway.  All I know is that he's an amazing poet, in touch with the earth.

I'll be away from my computer next week for a few days, but I'll be back on Thursday.  I hope you all have an awesome week!

Love & Blessings,



"God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars." ~Martin Luther


"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.... People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back." ~Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982


The poetry of the earth is never dead. ~John Keats


SharoninWonderland said...

Hi!! Thanks for the generous follow!! I am already enjoying your blog! Don't be a stranger!!



Marion said...

Thanks, Sharon. You're the first blogger from my home state I've found. Blessings!

Kelly said...

I don't think I've read anything by Jim Harrison before. Have you posted any of his work in the past?

I like it!!

Hope your time away is for any enjoyable occasion. I'll miss you!

Marion said...

Hey, Kelly! I haven't posted any of Jim Harrison's work before. I came across his book of poetry today and had these pages marked. I bought the book last year, then read parts and put it on the shelves with my other 300 books of poetry and forgot all about it! The book is awesome, though.

We'll be at Hodges Gardens State Park for a few days. We got a cabin on the lake for the full moon. They've got zillions of flower gardens and trails and herb gardens and a small lake. We went a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Have a great week. Blessings!

Kelly said...

Enjoy Hodges Gardens! I've been there a couple of times. In fact, that's where I was when I heard Elvis had died!!

Cynthia said...

I'm impressed by the respect for
women and nature that Harrison
exhibits through his poetry. Must
read his poetry, after I polish
off about three other books, that
is. Thank you, Marion for the
preview of this writer.

You know, that is so true. Alice
Walker's quote. God does please us.
We just have to open our eyes.
I've made a committment to do
just that.

Marion said...

Kelly, that's funny. I don't remember Elvis's death, but I do recall John Lennon's and where I was. Memory is a funny thing...Blessings!

Cynthia, you'll enjoy reading Jim Harrison. I find many of his books of poetry at the library. Oh, I just love Alice Walker. That quote is one of my top 10 favorites. It's profound, yet so simple and full of wisdom. Blessings!!

Kay said...

wonderful poet, indeed! Visually affective and received

ds said...

I will seek Mr. Harrison out; thank you. Love, love the photo, however. It is one of the best moon shots I have ever seen...

Woman in a Window said...

His is an incredibly interesting voice to me. He teaches me to slow down and see new relationships. Very nice, Marion.

Have fun on your few days away!


Marion said...

I'm glad you ladies enjoyed the poems. The Hummingbirds are back here in Louisiana. I filled my feeders and hung them outside my windows. The cats are taking turns in the windows watching the birds eat. Cat TV! LOL! Blessings!

Phoenix said...

Nature poems are always perfect for welcoming in the change of seasons.

I'd never heard of Harrison before I'll have to go check him out!

Serena said...

That is SO nice. Totally yummy poetry. Love your remark about Cat TV -- made me laugh out loud -- which I needed desperately.:)

Terresa said...

Beautiful post. The poems and quotes are nearly holy in it's earthy appreciation, joy, connectedness. Thank you for sharing this!

Wine and Words said...

Flowers 2001 really got to me. Something about that particular bloom, as I near flower there...and perhaps now a blessing that my smile more subdued, for I do not wish to cause a shudder!

Hurry back Marion! Miss you.

quid said...

ML- I like him a lot! Very contemporary poetry. Thanks for the introduction!