The Farther Continent Of James Clyman


Live while you live This is my text Then feast to day, then starve the next … And if we live on bread alone We’ll take the world without a groan But if our bread should chance to fail We’ll Turn out Tramps or go to Jail.

He preserved a lyricism and a love of life that was, I think, the deep current of his years. “Decoration Day 1881”:

Strew flowers oer the héros head Who for your country fought & Bled He fought for eaqul rights for all Let raining flowers or him fall He died your countrys life to save Strew flowers oer the heroes grave

He died that year, 1881, peacefully. His wife and daughter survived him, but only by repute his name. His journals were finally edited, brilliantly, by Charles L. Camp and published in a limited edition in 1928, 330 copies, and 1,450 copies in a second limited edition in 1960.

“Not that he settled Kentucky or made a path to the west,” writes William Carlos Williams of Daniel Boone in In the American Grain , “ … but because of a descent to the ground of his desire was Boone’s life important and does it remain still loaded with power—power to strengthen every form of energy that would be voluptuous, passionate, possessive in that place which he opened. … Filled with the wild beauty of the New World to overbrimming so long as he had what he desired, to bathe in, to explore always more deeply, to see, to feel, to touch—his instincts were contented.” James Clyman explored a farther continent, “the rich smiling surface,” as voluptuously as Boone a nearer. It grew up into him; he fitted it; with others he gave it to us; sensuously contented he gave it back himself. Strew flowers oer the heroes grave .