The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Poets are both clean and warm
And most are far above the norm
Whether here or on the roam
Have a poet in every home! #52

James Douglas Morrison


nestmeister said...

I sense an argument brewing on this one, Kimberly.

Great front man, but 'poet'?


If so, then every Orpheus picture needs adding to this series.

Testify said...

Poet my ass! Self indulgent fat cry baby maybe...

Peter Yezukevich said...

Not in the interest of the popular sport of Doors-bashing (second only to Eagles-bashing in pop/rock circles), but if you've ever hated to like The Doors, I suggest looking up Terry Gross' Fresh Air interview with Ray Manzarek. It is a hilariously entertaining peek into Ray's inflated self-esteem as a musician (referring to a half-baked movement from 'Light My Fire', he says "I put on my Bach hat!"), his ridiculously fawning memories of Morrison (the description of Jim as Adonis is priceless), and his incredible view of The Doors as a Great Thing (everyone associated with the band is referred to as a "brilliant genius" at some point). Oddly, all this is presented through his remarkably fun, enjoyable storytelling. It is awesome. And he's at a piano the whole time, too.

Kimberly Lindbergs said...

Morrison released two volumes of poetry and an album of recorded verse when he was alive, I think that qualifies him as a poet. And a damn good one.

I'm not sure why Dylan isn't in this series yet. You'll have to ask Tom about that, but Leonard Cohen is.

Tom Sutpen said...

Believe it or not, I actually haven't thought of Dylan for this series; mainly because he's never published (best of my knowledge) volumes of poetry. Prose, yes; but no poetry (I don't count lyrics).

Cohen, on the other hand, was a snap. The man had published four volumes of poetry (as well as two novels) and secured for himself a berth as one of Canada's leading poets long before he entered a recording studio.

In any event, Morrison is a legit entry for this series, far as I'm concerned.

Brooks said...

Rented "When You're Strange" the other day. Can't say Morrison was a great frontman as he appears to have been too drunk to bother. Being a great frontman really means reproducing the same performance night after night - giving the fans the excitement they want by, well, faking it.

This was a guy who didn't fake it.

Haven't read his poetry but the lyrics of the songs show he had something to say, in my opinion. L.A. Woman paints a picture.

H. P. L. said...

All in all, great photo! I had never seen this one before. Thank you!

nestmeister said...

Spot on, Kimberly. I'd totally forgotten about Morrison's poetry albums. A bit self-indulgent for me (I've been reading some of it), although he probably would have produced some good stuff had he not rode on ahead so soon.

Dylan tended to hide his poems on the backs of albums, so he did technically publish. They weren't great, though. Who reads '11 Outlined Epitaths' these days?

Always an interesting one to ponder, the poet/song-writer crossover.

Curtis said...

To sight Morrison and Cohen as poets because they actually published poems in book format and to minimize Dylan as a mere lyricists is laughable.You should re-explore what Dylan had to say and is still saying...Dylan is in a class by himself. Dylan? Cohen or Morrison?
Come on.

theo said...

This is an interesting one. I have always loved the “Doors”. I have always regarded Jim Morrison as the creative force behind the music. He was the poet. His visions were transcribed into music. If it was Manzarak who made the melodies, more power to him but I must note a lack of brilliance since Jim died. Yeah, a lot of people I like hate the “Eagles” and, interestingly, the “Dead” as well. I still haven’t figured out why. Frankly (to quote a famous movie and book) I don’t give a damn.

marietta said...

Ein besonders schönes Portrait von seltener Intensität,danke.

Fred said...

Robby Krieger was interviewed on my local radio station last week and sounded every bit as humble as Jim and Ray weren't. He actually said he used to hate listening to the Doors because he always felt they could have played some of the songs better.

Tommy O'C said...

Kimberly, Tom, way to go. R.I.P., Jim.

Johnny Paycut said...

Maybe Jim will one day host an episode of Radio Free Gunslinger.