Jim Harrison’s compelling and provocative Songs of Unreason explores what it means to inhabit the world in atavistic, primitive, and totemistic ways. “This can be disturbing to the learned,” Harrison admits. Using interconnected suites, brief lyrics, and rollicking narratives, Harrison’s passions and concerns—creeks, thickets, time’s effervescence, familiar love—emerge by turns painful and celebratory, localized and exiled.
“A beautifully mysterious inquiry… Here Harrison—forthright, testy, funny, and profoundly discerning—a gruff romantic and a sage realist, tells tales about himself, from his dangerous obsession with Federico García Lorca to how he touched a bear’s head, reflects on his dance with the trickster age, and shares magnetizing visions of dogs, horses, birds, and rivers. Oscillating between drenching experience and intellectual musings, Harrison celebrates movement as the pulse of life, and art, which ‘scrubs the soul fresh.’” —Booklist
“Songs of Unreason, Harrison’s latest collection of poetry, is a wonderful defense of the possibilities of living… His are hard won lines, but never bitter, just broken in and thankful for the chance to have seen it all.” —Industrial Worker Book Review
“Unlike many contemporary poets, Harrison is philosophical, but his philosophy is nature-based and idiosyncratic: ‘Much that you see / isn’t with your eyes. / Throughout the body are eyes…’ As in all good poetry, Harrison’s lines linger to be ruminated upon a third or fourth time, with each new reading revealing more substance and raising more questions.” —Library Journal
“It wouldn’t be a Harrison collection without the poet, novelist, and food critic’s reverence for rivers, dogs, and women… his poems stun us simply, with the richness of the clarity, detail, and the immediacy of Harrison’s voice.” —Publishers Weekly