83 Jim Harrison Quotes from the American Poet

James Harrison was a poet, writer, and essayist from the United States.

Jim Harrison Quotes

Jim Harrison Quotes


I can write anywhere. ~ Jim Harrison.


Fast food is zoo food. ~ Jim Harrison.


Zen is the vehicle of reality. ~ Jim Harrison.


I seek the substantial in life. ~ Jim Harrison.


We are all naturally xenophobic. ~ Jim Harrison.

What cannot be said, will get wept. ~ Jim Harrison.


Birds are poems I haven’t caught yet. ~ Jim Harrison.

Wise Jim Harrison Quotes

Death steals everything except our stories. ~ Jim Harrison.

Everybody has a gun in their car in Detroit. ~ Jim Harrison.

Beware, O wanderer, the road is walking too. ~ Jim Harrison.


Sometimes the only answer to death is lunch. ~ Jim Harrison.

A mood can be a mud puddle to be jumped over. ~ Jim Harrison.

Success and money can really be quite blinding. ~ Jim Harrison.

Life is an honor, albeit anonymously delivered. ~ Jim Harrison.


I rarely read or buy a book because of a review. ~ Jim Harrison.

In 20,000 walks you’re bound to learn a little. ~ Jim Harrison.

Profound Jim Harrison Quotes

I’m not rational enough to be a good journalist. ~ Jim Harrison.

The reason to moderate is to avoid having to quit. ~ Jim Harrison.

How could all this happen when there was an ocean? ~ Jim Harrison.


The days are stacked against what we think we are. ~ Jim Harrison.

I’d rather get a brain tumor than go back to teaching. ~ Jim Harrison.

Being a writer requires an intoxication with language. ~ Jim Harrison.

We set this house on fire forgetting that we live within. ~ Jim Harrison.

I’m hoping to be astonished tomorrow by I don’t know what. ~ Jim Harrison.


I write novellas because I don’t like loose sprawling prose. ~ Jim Harrison.

The answer is always in the entire story, not a piece of it. ~ Jim Harrison.

Famous Jim Harrison Quotes

I had let my disgust with teaching ruin my love of literature. ~ Jim Harrison.

You don’t have to become what you already are, which is a relief. ~ Jim Harrison.

When we die we are only stories in the minds of others, I thought. ~ Jim Harrison.

I don’t see gender as the most significant fact of human existence. ~ Jim Harrison.

It takes a long time for a father to drive the love out of a child. ~ Jim Harrison.

Fishing makes us less the hostages to the horrors of making a living. ~ Jim Harrison.

My advice is, do not try to inhabit another’s soul. You have your own. ~ Jim Harrison.

No one else can hold your hand or take this voyage of the soul for you. ~ Jim Harrison.

That’s my only defense against this world: to build a sentence out of it. ~ Jim Harrison.

Top Jim Harrison Quotes

How wonderful it was to love something without the compromise of language. ~ Jim Harrison.

New Yorkers are mostly interested in New York – in case you haven’t noticed. ~ Jim Harrison.

I got $30 from Nation magazine for a poem and $500 for my first book of poems. ~ Jim Harrison.

One thing that has gone wrong in America is the general acceptance of bad ham. ~ Jim Harrison.

Because most writers have totally unrealistic concepts of how publishing works. ~ Jim Harrison.

I thought, frankly, that it would be more pleasant to write a memoir than it was. ~ Jim Harrison.

Yeah, but now suddenly – you know, universities are notoriously market oriented, too. ~ Jim Harrison.

It is easy to forget that in the main we die only seven times more slowly than our dogs. ~ Jim Harrison.

I don’t know what psychotherapy does. I have been seeing the same person for 26 years now. ~ Jim Harrison.

A poet must discover that it’s his own story that is true, even if the truth is small indeed. ~ Jim Harrison.

Great Jim Harrison Quotes

Animals spend a lot of time being still so when we do they lose their logical mistrust of us. ~ Jim Harrison.

I hadn’t noticed the green of summer enough and now the colors were gray and white and black. ~ Jim Harrison.

Poetry at its best is the language your soul would speak if you could teach your soul to speak. ~ Jim Harrison.

Naturally we would prefer seven epiphanies a day and an earth not so apparently devoid of angels. ~ Jim Harrison.

The head’s a cloud anchor that the feet must follow. Travel light, he said, or don’t travel at all. ~ Jim Harrison.

I’ve never felt influenced by Ernest Hemingway though I suppose there is something inevitable there. ~ Jim Harrison.

I see more genuine sociability between the races in Mississippi than I see in Michigan. No question. ~ Jim Harrison.

The world that used to nurse us now keeps shouting inane instructions. That’s why I ran to the woods. ~ Jim Harrison.

Barring love I’ll take my life in large doses alone – rivers, forests, fish, grouse, mountains. Dogs. ~ Jim Harrison.

You touch things lightly or deeply; you move along because life herself moves, and you can’t stop it. ~ Jim Harrison.

Thoughtful Jim Harrison Quotes

Strangely, when I totally emerged from this slump I couldn’t comprehend how I had almost drowned it it. ~ Jim Harrison.

I’m actually forced to write about Michigan because as a native of that state it’s the place I know best. ~ Jim Harrison.

I enjoy about 1 out of 100 movies, it’s about the same proportion to books published that I care to read. ~ Jim Harrison.

Michigan is two radically different places – the North and the South which makes for good drama and contrast. ~ Jim Harrison.

Fate has never ladled out hardship very evenly, and this frequently trips our often infantile sense of justice. ~ Jim Harrison.

Dad said I would always be high minded and low waged from reading too much Ralph Waldo Emerson. Maybe he was right. ~ Jim Harrison.

Writing as a woman presents enormous problems but I have attempted it several times and haven’t had many complaints. ~ Jim Harrison.

Marriage is survived just on the basis of ordinary etiquette, day in and day out. Also cooking together helps a lot. ~ Jim Harrison.

That is simply the most beautiful publishing office in the world, with that cranky old building in that wonderful park. ~ Jim Harrison.

The wilderness does not make you forget your normal life so much as it removes the distractions for proper remembering. ~ Jim Harrison.

Powerful Jim Harrison Quotes

I would rather give full vent to all human loves and disappointments, and take a chance on being corny, than die a smartass. ~ Jim Harrison.

I can maintain my sense of the sacredness of existence only by understanding my own limitations and losing my self-importance. ~ Jim Harrison.

There is nothing so immediately rewarded in American life, in the arts or anything else, as a shrill and limited consciousness. ~ Jim Harrison.

When we were children we were errant enough to wish to be birds for the day but there’s nothing easier to lose than playfulness. ~ Jim Harrison.

We Americans are trained to think big, talk big, act big, love big, admire bigness but then the essential mystery is in the small. ~ Jim Harrison.

So when I made some money, I didn’t have any idea how one handled such a situation because no one in our family ever had any money. ~ Jim Harrison.

After a lifetime of world travel I’ve been fascinated that those in the third world don’t have the same perception of reality that we do. ~ Jim Harrison.

Nothing on my trip thus far was as I expected which shows you that rather than simply read about the United States you have to log the journey. ~ Jim Harrison.

The only advice I can give to aspiring writers is don’t do it unless you’re willing to give your whole life to it. Red wine and garlic also helps. ~ Jim Harrison.

The simple act of opening a bottle of wine has brought more happiness to the human race than all the collective governments in the history of earth. ~ Jim Harrison.

Meaningful Jim Harrison Quotes

We think of life as solid and are haunted when time tells us it is a fluid. Old Heraclitus couldn’t have stepped in the same river once, let alone twice. ~ Jim Harrison.

There is a neurologist, a woman over at Harvard who wanted me to come talk to them, and in France I have a lot of readers in the sciences. I can’t tell you why. ~ Jim Harrison.

Some of our strangest actions are also our most deeply characteristic: secret desires remain weak fantasies unless they pervade a will strong enough to carry them out. ~ Jim Harrison.

I asked a French critic a couple of years ago why my books did so well in France. He said it was because in my novels people both act and think. I got a kick out of that. ~ Jim Harrison.

Life is sentimental. Why should I be cold and hard about it? That’s the main content. The biggest thing in people’s lives is their loves and dreams and visions, you know. ~ Jim Harrison.

One of the curious effects of a bad hangover is that you think you’re wrong whether you are or not. Not wrong in particulars, but wrong in general, wrong about everything. ~ Jim Harrison.

The old fun thing is when somebody typed up the first chapter of War and Peace. And then made a precis of the rest of it and sent it out and only one publisher recognized it. ~ Jim Harrison.

I was on the verge of jumping into one of those holes in life out of which we emerge a bit tattered and bloody, though we remain sure nonetheless that we had to make the jump. ~ Jim Harrison.

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