Those that know me know that I have recently fallen for the music of The Doors. Those that stalk me know that I have recently acquired a copy of the late, great frontman Jim Morrison's poetry books, in one combined volume, The Lords and The New Creatures, for both myself and a friend. As the volume is one book, so shall this review be of the collected works of poetry published during Morrison's lifetime.
Did this live up to the standards set by the music of The Doors?
Yes, and no. No, in that it's harder to see the rhythme of the poetry, which is what makes so many of the songs by The Doors so great; a constant beat, a drive towards something, a pace that can change radically mid-song to create something wonderful, to reach a climax, empowered by electric sounds and mind-blowing lyrics. Yes, in that the words are fascinating, an adventure Morrison went on with The Doors, opening up to new thoughts, and presenting a wonderful fascination with life, death and culture, three of Morrison's biggest concerns, overall, if you let certain things fall into them.
How does the poetry compare to other works you've read?
To be fully honest, most of the poems are entirely unlike anything I've ever read. There are certain things lacking, but this comes down to the simple fact that my greatest experience with poetry is with very controlled poetry. This is freedom, absolute control of the words held by the poet, not the art-form. It's not greater or worse than anything I've ever read; it stands apart from it all, a distinct life-form of its own, unique compared to my previous experiences with poetry.
Which is, in your own opinion, the greater of the two books?
My favourite of the two was The New Creatures. It may be because there is a clearer system of verse in it, or that it focuses on a wilder side of Morrison's life, and on Pamela, rather than largely looking at cinema. That said, The Lords is still a powerful piece of poetry, and shouldn't be skipped. They're available together, so read them together, and make your own mind up.
Is this recommended?
I don't read something without recommending it, most of the time. What I'll say, though, to be fair, is that this book is probably best suited for lovers of (a) poetry and/or (b) the lyrics of The Doors (or just the band itself). It's not something I would give just anybody (and I didn't give it to just anybody - the friend I got a copy for is the very same friend who got me into the band in the first place). And I rather like my way of doing this: buy yourself a copy and buy a friend a copy, so you can discuss the poetic awesome that is Jim Morrison's work. It's better shared, like the music. Thousands of fans didn't flock together for no reason; the music of The Doors, the words of Jim Morrison, are a group experience. So yes, the volume is recommended, but recommended for sharing too.