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Wilderness: The Lost Writings, Vol. 1
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Wilderness: The Lost Writings, Vol. 1

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,159 ratings  ·  84 reviews
"Listen, real poetry doesn't say anything, it just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all the doors. You can walk through any one that suits you." -- Jim Morrison

As the lead singer and song writer for The Doors, Jim Morrison brought the poetry of the damned to rock'n'roll. As a poet, he infused verse with the wild lyricism and mesmerizing beat of rock. By the time of his d
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Paperback, 214 pages
Published December 17th 1989 by Random House Vintage Books (first published 1988)
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Jason Koivu
I rate Jim Morrison's poetry the way I do John Lennon's famous doodles. Technically they're borderline atrocious to fair with the occasional flicker of insight. However, it's their creator that makes them so intriguing.

Replete with copies of Morrison's handwritten work and photos, Wilderness: The Lost Writings is a collection of simple-but-enigmatic phrasings that could loosely be called poetry, made more interesting due to the writer's fame/infamy. This is best read by Doors fans, especially i
...more
Jen
Jim Morrison changed my life in college. Ironically, he was dead at the time, but it's true. I love so many of the poems in this volume but one stands out right now, after I've experienced fall and am experiencing winter for the first time in years:

A man rakes leaves into
a heap in his yard, a pile,
& leans on his rake &
burns them utterly.
The fragrance fills the forest
children pause & heed the
smell, which will become
nostalgia in several years
Christine
Like The American Night: The Writings of Jim Morrison Volume 2, Wilderness provides readers with the inspiring, albeit often confusing, hallucinatory poetry of Morrison. The rhythm of the pieces often themselves intoxicating, one can almost feel as if the phonemic structure of Morrison's work has an underlying pattern that the average person just cannot quite articulate. For aspiring poets, this collection of poems is an extraordinary example of the affects of sound on poetry and how important i ...more
Brandon
Nov 15, 2009 Brandon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Jim Morrison and the music of the Doors
Shelves: own
I have been a fan of the Doors since watching Oliver Stone's biopic and I've since been intrigued by the persona of Jim Morrison. While Stone's film and other critics often view Morrison as a drunken buffoon, I could see there was more to him. I've read a handful of biographies and it has only helped increase my awe and respect of the 60's music icon. The man was a genius and had great appreciation for art, hoping to segue his music career into that as a writer/poet/filmmaker. Wilderness is the ...more
J.P.
Oct 04, 2007 J.P. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: poets, poetry lovers
I guess I'm a biased reviewer here. I am a passionate Doors fan. If you're a casual Doors listener, you'll find Morrison's writing rough sledding. But if you're like me, you'll love this collection of previously unpublished poems and ephemera.

Perhaps Jim wasn't the most polished poet in the world. His work often smacks of the high school English star drunk on words. But he's got some wonderful imagery in here, and seems to be aware of the wonderful SOUND words can make when they're played off ea
...more
Mikimbizii
While flipping though the pages of Wilderness at a local book store, I found these lines:

“I am troubled, immeasurably
by your eyes.
I am struck by the feather
of your soft reply.
The sound of glass
speaks quick, disdain
and conceals
what your eyes fight
to explain.”

Morrison is an amazing poet, a legend, a rascal, a prophet.
Timothy
If you think you know Jim Morrison from the classic rock station and the Oliver Stone movie, think again. Some deep stuff here.
Betty Gowans
Though it may be difficult for some readers to understand where Jim was coming from in his poems, they were overall visionary and beautiful in their own right. Some poems were purely observation, but that was what he saw in society from his perspective. While some may shudder at the grotesque and scoff at the pedestrian poems, that is his artistic expression in its rawest form. I feel his poems are the lyrics that didn't quite cut it for the rest of the doors. A marvelous read for any Doors or m ...more
Marcia Guimaraes
The self-interview, right at the beginning of the book, gives us a glimpse of what to expect. Jim was not only a singer but a writer or, as he prefers to define himself, a poet actually. He read great writers (I'm kinda jealous of the amount of stuff he read and owned) and has been influenced by them. The rebellious Jim was highly influenced by poets like Rimbaud and his poetry is portrayed with critics to institutions as church, society and family, and to himself, as well. He depicts himself in ...more
Thomas
This isn't poetry in the traditional sense of the word. This is like beat poetry mixed with Rock n' Roll. I enjoy a lot of the imagery that is used. I wish American Prayer was available without the background music. Anyone know if that is available?
Stacy
I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock thanks to my parents so listening to The Doors is pretty nostalgic for me. Some of the poetry in this book is very 'out there' but there are also quite a few beautiful and philosophical entries.
Jacob Kyle
The mind of Jim Morrison is extraordinary. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and his strange and wonderful writing. He fascinates me with his stories and his amazing poetry.
Richard Castillo
A great collection of offbeat poetry written by a brilliant mind in Jim Morrison. I would highly recommend checking it out for anyone who is a fan of The Doors or just really strange but intriguing poetry. Definitely a good read
Patrick McFarland
If you like the dark poetry of rock and roll, this is the book for you!
Christine
Like The American Night: The Writings of Jim Morrison Volume 2, Wilderness provides readers with the inspiring, albeit often confusing, hallucinatory poetry of Morrison. The rhythm of the pieces often themselves intoxicating, one can almost feel as if the phonemic structure of Morrison's work has an underlying pattern that the average person just cannot quite articulate. For aspiring poets, this collection of poems is an extraordinary example of the affects of sound on poetry and how important i ...more
Amy
Im' a huge fan of The Doors. A huge fan of Jim Morrison. I find him fascinating. The book of poetry is interesting and beautiful and nonsensical at times. Some I skimmed over because I didn't follow them. Some made no sense to me and I read them over again because I enjoyed his words anyway. Some painted a vivid picture for me and I read them over and over again. Every poem and essay will mean nothing to someone, while at the same time, mean everything to someone else. I highly recommend reading ...more
Donald Armfield
When I got to the afterwords of this collection, I read that some of these poems were un-finished, or parts of others. Originally written, nothing changed from journals collected.

One section called "The Village Tapes" were poems recorded December 7, 1970 (six months before his death).

Quoted my favorite lines and 4 poems I liked the most.

-cobra Sun (pg. 176)
-Cold electric music (pg. 125)
-drugs sex drunkness battle (pg. 101)
-the mushroom (pg. 73)
Mrs. Doglvrs
I love taking my time reading through Jim's poetry... so I start reading a book, and slowly make my way through, until one night I pick it up - and then I simply can not put it aside until I've finished it!

One I particularly loved in this collection:

"I received an Aztec wall of vision
& dissolved my room in sweet derision
Closed my eyes, prepared to go
A gentle win inform'd me so
And bathed my skin in ether glow"

pg. 77
Jerry Oliver
I read some of this stuff several years ago but it's hazy. This is good poetry from an amazing mind and character. You can see his development in these writings and snippets that ended up as lyrics for The Doors. All kinds of experiments going on here but mostly keen observation and vivid imagination at work. I'll be reading volume 2 The American Night and his first book of poetry The Lords and The Creatures soon.
Candace Rollins
While I was not that fond of Jim Morrison's poetry as a whole, there were some pieces I liked a lot. When reading a biographical or other work by someone you only know through one medium it has been my experience that they are often different from the public persona and the differences often surprise me. I did get the sense of a much more intelligent and talented guy then I had imagined before reading Wilderness.
JD
Some really nice stuff in here for Doors fans. I want to say I'm "bad" at reading poetry, but I enjoyed a great deal of this. Morrison seemed to work best when he wrote small <10 line pieces like my favorite:
"Where'd you learn about
Satan - out of a book
Love? - out of a box"

Highly recommended for Doors fans or if you just love Morrison's brooding artistic mystique (like me).
Mark
I will always love Jim Morrison and his poetry. He was a genius and he will be remembered. That is if the world survives nehneh

do you think maybe 5 thousand years from now people might still read him? maybe? maybe not?

he couldn't help who he was how he lived and how he died. can you? I can't. can anyone?

I think he is one of the finest poets this country ever produced.
Heather
Delving into the mind of a person or presence like that of Jim Morrison is a privilege. I only wish more artists/writers would be so bold as to do the same. This is one of my personal favorites....

I am troubled
Immeasurably
By your eyes

I am struck
By the feather
Of your soft
Reply

The sound of glass
Speaks quick
Disdain

And conceals
What your eyes fight
To explain
L. L.  Kelly
It is safe to say that Jim Morrison is not for everyone. I am always genuinely creeped out when I read his work. Since I am such a big fan of the horror genre, you might think this doesn't bother me but it does. A book by Morrison does not stay in my house for long. That is not to say I don't admire his work.
Wilderness brings an understanding of his poetic mind.
Cheryl
I suppose if I died today and some bunch of jackasses published my notebooks full of unpolished, rambling or snippets poetry, I'd be embarrassed as hell, but I'd hope they would have the profound affect on someone that these did on me. Obsessed as a teen, I am still haunted today by his words, and he probably influenced my writing style more than any other poet.
Plam
Absolutely amazing and magical poetry! Masterfully playing with the right words which are directly hitting the subconsciousness.
Love it.
Brian
I picked up my copy in Paris, at WHSmith on Rue de Rivoli, and devoured it as I backpacked my way through Europe. While not every piece is great, the book remains one of my favorite collections of poetry and free verse, both out of content and nostalgia.
Ben
Jim Morrison was an okay poet, but not deeply moving, in my opinion. Poets like Rimbaud, Ferlinghetti, and Blake, for instance, speak to me; Morrison's poems set to music are, to me, more powerful than the writings contained in this book.
Melissa
I kept hoping I'd get into this book, but it never happened. Maybe I was trying too hard. I did like the handwritten pieces in the book, but there wernt enough. I'd like to have seen more art/doodles and process-oriented meanderings.
Elizabeth
I was in love with Jim when I was a teenager (don't ask me why). Anyway, I loved this book back then and read it often.

Now, when I read it, it makes me sad, for I think how much better his poems would have been if he were sober.
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James Douglas Morrison was an American singer, poet, songwriter, writer, and film director. He is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of The Doors, and is widely considered to be one of the most charismatic and influential frontmen in rock music. He was also the author of several books of poetry and the director of a documentary and short film.
More about Jim Morrison...
The Lords and the New Creatures The American Night: The Lost Writings, Vol. 2 An American Prayer Eyes: Poetry, 1967-1971 Джим Моррисон. Стихи. Песни. Заметки / Poems, Lyrics, Notes

Share This Book

“I am troubled, immeasurably
by your eyes.
I am struck by the feather
of your soft reply.
The sound of glass
speaks quick, disdain
and conceals
what your eyes fight
to explain.”
221 likes
“The Night is young
& full of rest
I can’t describe
the way she’s dress’d
She’ll pander to some strange
requests
Anything that you suggest
Anything to please her guest.”
55 likes
More quotes…