Jim Harrison Poetry: American Poets Analysis
Jim Harrison is one of the twenty-first century’s most stunning, original, and introspective poets. His poetry, while extremely tactile, is not quickly apprehended but yields vast rewards. Reading through any Harrison collection is a bit like traveling through a museum of the subconscious filled with pungent, piercing, beautiful, sexually charged, and tortured imagery drawn from the natural world and human experience. Using the natural world as a springboard, he infuses it with mystic correspondences, Zen allusions, and multiple layers of meaning. His preferred forms are the lyric, the haiku, the suite, and the ghazal, all of which involve loose assemblages of stanzas that are related largely by free associations. Hence, what may appear to be arbitrary suspensions of narrative sequences are, instead, highly crafted movements through the poet’s preconscious mind.
Harrison is an iconoclast whose thought patterns, even in his more traditional narratives, tend to be elliptical. In the suites and ghazals, this tendency culminates in violent disruptions of linear connection and the compounding of discordant images. His poetry requires that the reader transcend the limits of the rational mind and follow the poet on his personal explorations, which have their own indigenous logic. Harrison is reaching directly for the experiences he is rendering in verse.
Plain Song is Harrison’s first published collection...
(The entire section is 6975 words.)
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