|Jim Morrison's Poetry
Part One: The Genesis of The Work
Throughout high school, and likely even earlier, Jim Morrison kept notebooks of quotes he had heard, notes, and stray thoughts. Over time, these notebooks also started to include at first aphorisms, fragments of poems, and ultimately entire poems in various stages of development.
It is well known that Jim was an avid reader, studying numerous genre aside from his schoolwork. His tastes were extremely eclectic, running from the Great Books, to westerns, surrealist, symbolist, beat and romantic poetry, philosophy, art history and criticism, mythology, metaphysics and trashy dime store novels - all of which would later provide a wealth of metaphor for his own work. He loved to learn perhaps more than anything else, and it has been said of Jim that he didn't just learn things, rather he merged with them.
During his days at UCLA film school, he continued to fill notebook after notebook. These would become the basis for his first published work, entitled The Lords: Notes on Vision. Later he would describe this work as a thesis on film aesthetics.
But the ideas expressed in this work go far beyond the scope of film alone; they are a commentary on the very fabric of social structure. Jims vision of a society of sheep, conditioned by fear, and controlled by the Lords is a dynamic which is even more easily seen at work in society today than it was during his time. Between the Lords and the Sheep were the individuals - those who were possessed of a personal conviction greater than their fear - the conviction to live in the integrity of their own being, no matter the cost. This truly describes the way Jim Morrison lived, and his personal cost was great indeed. It is an important element of his legacy, and the underlying cause of his torment by the Establishment, who knew exactly what Jim was talking about when he screamed Youre all a bunch of fucking slaves in Miami.
Jim would later say of The Lords: Notes on Vision :
What that book is a lot about is the powerlessness that people have in the face of reality, Jim said. They have no real control over events or their own lives. Something is controlling them. The closest they ever get is the television set.
Fear the Lords who are secret among us
The Lords are w/in us
Born of sloth & cowardice
The Lords & The New Creatures is Published
In the aftermath of the Miami incident, the largest tour the Doors had ever scheduled was canceled show by show, making a travesty of the bands reputation and finances, but ironically leaving Jim free to at last pursue other interests. He set up his film production company, HWY Productions, and at the suggestion of his new friend, Beat poet Michael McClure, he self-published two limited edition volumes of poetry, The Lords: Notes on Vision followed by The New Creatures. It was in the following year that Simon and Schuster would publish the two volumes in one edition.
While The Lords is a collection of many interesting insights and aphorisms, it is The New Creatures which reveals Jim Morrisons first fledgling poetic works.
There is no doubt that Jim's first love and perhaps his greatest gift was language, and his poetry exemplifies this gift in a startling, succinct and truly courageous honesty. His insights into the nature of the human experience, and his prophetic vision of the future are astounding. His maturity as both a critical thinker and a poet was developed to an incredible degree for a young man in his early twenties. His vision was absolutely exquisite. If possible, his work is even more relevant now than at the time it was first published.
Copyright 2002 by laciefae/Waiting-forthe-Sun.net