I am a huge Doors fan, so when I saw an article about the auctioning of what may be Jim Morrison’s last poem written while he was in Paris, I had to check it out.
According to the article, it’s not sure whether this was his last poem, but it is the last poem in the notebook that was found among his possessions.
“Obviously, we don’t know if it’s the last thing he ever wrote … but it was among the last things he ever wrote – certainly.”
“What stands out is the fact that the one on page 152 was indeed the last page of the notebook,” said Lipman. “I actually saw the notebook when it was intact years ago and I remember seeing that last page and those last words and thinking, ‘Wow, this is pretty powerful stuff.’“
What stands out the most for me in this poem is the line: “I have drunk the drug of forgetfulness.” Morrison was a very heavy drinker and one can assume he drank as much as he did as a way to escape the pressures of fame. There were also rumors of heroin use during his last days in Paris, certainly another drug of forgetfulness. But personally, I think Jim, who was always obsessed with death, sensed that he was nearing the end. As such, I see the drug of forgetfulness as symbolic of the river Lethe which runs through Hades. According to Greek mythology, the souls of the dead were required to drink from the river Lethe in order to forget their earthly life. I suspect Jim was ready to forget his earthly life before breaking on through to the other side.
Last words, Last words
14 responses to “Jim Morrison’s Last Poem?”
Wow Jeff! I was not aware of this poem or that his journal was being auctioned. I am also a huge fan of Jim’s.
My sense of Jim was that he had been touched by forces very deep and perhaps identified too much with them. Or, maybe he was so sensitive so the self-destructive instincts in our disordered culture that he was swallowed by it.
As well, there was a lot of creativity coming through him. Perhaps he identitified the stream of creativity with the altered states that drugs and alchohol produce.
I am most struck by the first line:
“I have a vision of America
28,000 feet and going fast”
Thanks for posting this.
Hey Debra! I’m glad you enjoyed it. The sad thing about this, though, is that his notebook was taken apart so they could auction each individual poem separately. I would have liked the book to be kept as a whole, kind of an artistic record. BTW – I visited Jim’s grave in Paris many years ago. Quite an experience. Cheers!
Agreed Jeff. Ugh, too bad they took the journal apart! Certainly, they couldhave left in intact, copied it, and sold the poems separately.
So cool that you got to visit his grave. I have been very tempted to read John Densmore’s autobiography. I think Densmore has enough sensitivity to honestly give us a portrayal of Jim and his experience of the Doors to round out a picture of Jim and the intensity of those times. Have you done much reading about the Doors? I did read No One Here Gets Out Alive. Loved it.
I read NOHGOA and I read Densmore’s book. I have to say that Densmore is pretty whiny in his book. We all know Jim had issues, and I’m sure he was a pain to work with, but let go of your resentment already. I’d say on the five star scale, Densmore’s book is a three.
Thanks Jeff, that is good to know.
I’m intrigued by “you be Christ on this package tour.” I wonder if this “poem” was actually the draft of several poems or lyrics that Morrison was unable to finish. It looks to me like a series of notations–ideas for three or four poems, and then a decision to stop. I thought of some of Phil Ochs’ last songs: No More Songs, and Rehearsals for Retirement. Another gifted songwriter who left life too soon.
Hi Amber. Yeah, wondered that myself. I thought maybe just jotting down ideas/lines that could be used later. I suppose we’ll never know.
Not familiar with Ochs. I’ll have to look up his stuff.
Very interesting and it is cool to see this notebook page. Although I was never a big Doors fan, I do respect Morrison’s creativity. And I did attend a Crystal Ship (Doors cover band) concert once!
The Doors were not for everyone. But they certainly had a major impact on rock music, making it more performance art.
Such a shame that Jim’s notebooks are being ripped apart. Who is behind this? Doesn’t make a difference really. I imagine collectors will spend the next decades trying to put it all back together. I sure hope someone did some proper archiving before selling off the individual pages.
Thanks for your comment, and I complete agree. It is sad. Hopefully someone will publish it as a compilation,
Hello everybody! Maybe you can help me. Does anyone of you know when Jim wrote “As I look back” poem, the last in the “Wilderness”? Was it in his last days in Paris? I’m writing an article about Jim’s poetry, and this one thing is haunting me.
Hi Julie. I checked my copy of the book and was not able to find the info you are asking about. Sorry! Please let me know if you find out something definitive.
I will! Thanks anyway 🙂