"Harrison's poems succeed on the basis of an open heart and a still-ravenous appetite for life."The Texas Observer
The title Dead Man's Float is inspired by a technique used by swimmers to conserve energy when exhausted, to rest up for the long swim to shore. In his fourteenth volume of poetry, Jim Harrison presents keen awareness of physical pains, delights in the natural world, and reflects on humanity's tentative place in a universe filled with ninety billion galaxies. By turns mournful and celebratory, these fearless and exuberant poems accomplish what Harrison's poems always do: wake us up to the possibilities of being fully alive.
"Forthright and unaffected, even brash, Harrison always scoops us straight into the world whether writing fiction or nonfiction. This new collection [Dead Man's Float] takes its cue from a technique swimmers use to conserve energy in deep water, and Harrison goes in deep, acknowledging our frailness even as he seamlessly connects with a world that moves from water to air to the sky beyond."Library Journal
Harrison pours himself into everything he writes in poems, you do meet Harrison head-on. As he navigates his seventies, he continues to marvel with succinct awe and earthy lyricism over the wonders of birds, dogs, and stars as he pays haunting homage to his dead and contends with age’s assaults. The sagely mischievous poet of the North Woods and the Arizona desert laughs at himself as he tries to relax by imagining that he’s doing the dead man’s float only to sink into troubling memories Bracingly candid, gracefully elegiac, tough, and passionate, Harrison travels the deep river of the spirit, from the wailing precincts of a hospital to a green glade of soft marsh grass near a pool in a creek” to the moon-bright sea.”Donna Seaman, Booklist
"Harrison doesn't write like anyone else, relying entirely on the toughness of his vision and intensity of feeling."Publishers Weekly
This year we have two gorgeous
yellow warblers nesting in the honeysuckle bush.
The other day I stuck my head in the bush.
The nestlings weigh one twentieth of an ounce,
about the size of a honeybee. We stared at
each other, startled by our existence.
In a month or so, when they reach the size
of bumblebees they'll fly to Costa Rica without a map.
Jim Harrison, one of America's most versatile and celebrated writers, is the author of over thirty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfictionincluding Legends of the Fall, the acclaimed trilogy of novellas. With a fondness for open space and anonymous thickets, he divides his time between Montana and southern Arizona.
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