The Shape of the Journey

Jim Harrison

From visionary lyrics and meditative suites to poems inspired by Russian suicides and scandalous Zen monks, Jim Harrison amply demonstrates why Booklist named The Shape of the Journey a “Top Ten Book of the Year.” This volume provides a sweeping selection of Harrison’s poetry, including out-of-print work from eight previous books, together with a major suite of new poems.

ISBN: 9781556591495

Format: Paperback

from “Returning to Earth”

So exhausted after my walk from orchestrating
the moves of one billion August grasshoppers
plus fifty thousand butterflies
swimming at the heads
of fifty thousand wildflowers
red blue yellow 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.

About the Author

Jim Harrison (1937–2016) was the author of over three dozen books, including Legends of the Fall and Dalva, and served as the food columnist for the magazines Brick and Esquire. He published fourteen volumes of poetry, the final being Dead Man’s Float (2016). His work has been translated into two dozen languages and produced as four feature-length films. As a young poet he co-edited Sumac magazine with fellow poet Dan Gerber, and earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the …

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“He equates writing poetry with creating cave paintings or petroglyphs, so intrinsically human is the urge to express the life of the soul, and his poems do make the temporal timeless.” —Booklist, starred review

“This is poetry worth loving, hating, and fighting over.” —New York Times Book Review

“It is hard-boiled poetry, some of the best of its kind, and one is not surprised to know that Harrison has written very tough novels… His poetic vision is at the heart of it all.” —Hayden Carruth, Harper’s

“An untrammeled renegade genius… Here is a poet talking to you instead of around himself, while doing absolutely brilliant and outrageous things with language.” —Publishers Weekly

“While since 1971 much of Harrison’s energy has been consumed by his work as a novelist and screenwriter, he continues to write a poetry that defies current trends and conventions.” —Midwest Quarterly

“Harrison’s essential honesty is deeply affecting… a moving body of work.” —Library Journal

“This brilliant poetry from an essential poet… will speak to you on a multitude of levels.” —Inside Outside Magazine

“The most obvious strength in Jim Harrison’s The Shape of the Journey is diversity… Harrison’s gift for sharp, original and easily understood imagery is present throughout his poetic career… Harrison’s voice is resoundingly American… All readers of poetry will find this a work worth exploring more than once, a book worthy of close study and reflection.” —Magill Book Reviews