August 17, 2011

the gift of language and the wounded ugly boy

“Poetry shouldn’t tell us what we already know, though of course it can revive what we think we know. A durable poet, the rarest of all birds, has a unique point of view and the gift of language to express it. The unique point of view can often come from a mental or physical deformity. Deep within us, but also on the surface, is the wounded ugly boy who has never caught an acceptable angle of himself in the mirror.”

jim harrison (Grayling, MI, 1937), excerpt from 'King of Pain', a review of The Pleasures of the Damned: Poems, 1951-1993 (Ecco/Harper Collins, 2007), by Charles Bukowski, published in the Sunday Book Review, The New York Times, November 25, 2007

Further reading

Pleasures of the Hard-Worn Life: An Interview With Jim Harrison (The New York Times)

Food for the Soul (The New York Times)

Indoors With a Poet of the Outdoors (The Wall Street Journal)

Jim Harrison at the Academy of American Poets, The Poetry Foundation, The New Yorker and The Paris Review