JAGUAR SKIES by Michael McClure


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These short works read more like prayers than poems. Like prayers, they are coruscating but mindless in their exhortation, cosmic celebrations that have everything to do with the eternal and little to do with the present--which is ignored in the search for ""visions not solutions."" McClure's vision is expansive, all-inclusive, at times unbearably intense; man burning brighter than the stars as he acknowledges his oneness with all living creatures and his own biological past, trying to become like his more perfect animal brothers. All McClure's metaphors are of Man as a Body: either as animal (a lovely ode begins ""SLEEP, GENTLE CARNIVORE"") or as a biological function. But the ecstasy he preaches is that of immanence rather than transcendence, an immersion in the ""RIGHT NOW,"" ""THE FLOW OF BEING,"" ""THE LIFE FORCE"" in which ""IT IS ALL BEAUTIFUL."" This is Dionysian poetry and it is pointless to quibble with its repetitions, or point out that the law of the jungle is not so beautiful for those who are the prey. McClure's short frenzied lines knowingly attempt to reach that blood-and-bones knowledge beyond words.

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 1975
ISBN: 0811205800
Publisher: New Directions