Thursday, October 17, 2013

We got to Minnesota in the rain

And, as they say in Haiku World, "autumn is ending." The gutter in front of the motel is filled with fallen  leaves in the lightly falling rain.

This is a poem by Gary Snyder that was used on a Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival flyer several years back; it just turned up last week, when I turned out some piles of paper. This photo reminded me that I brought it along. We are not quite far enough west to use it yet, but we are getting there! And, trying to find a citation, I found that it has already been posted here and there many times. Here is another. . .

Piute Creek

One granite ridge
A tree would be enough
Or even a rock, a small creek.
A bark shred in a pool.
Hill beyong hill, folded and twisted
Tough trees crammed
In thin stone fractures
A huge moon on it all, is too much.
The mind wanders. A million
Summers, night air still and the rocks
Warm. Sky over endless mountains.
All the junk that goes with being human
Drops away, hard rock wavers
Even the heavy present seems to fail
This bubble of a heart.
Words and books
Like a small creek off a high ledge
Gone in the dry air.

A clear attentive mind
Has no meaning but that
Which sees is truly seen.
No one loves rock, yet we are here.
Night chills. A flick
In the moonlight
Slips in Juniper shadow:
Back there unseen
Cold proud eyes
Of Cougar and Coyote
Watch me rise and go.
                          --Gary Snyder         [This is from his first book, Riprap.]

I got a double portion of learning by typing this tonight. I was on the last time, when I went to hit the shift bar for the capital W, when I must have hit the control key instead. I need to disable control keys, as I never use them, but, alas, hadn't done that either, if it is even possible. So I had to retype everything beginning with "All the junk that goes with being human" [Oops, I do use control keys to copy and paste!]. I noticed the special grace that the use of capital letters to begin each line brings to this poem. I like the variation in line length. I like that some parts punctuated like sentences are just phrases and others, sentences. I like the metaphors. I like the specificity of animate and inanimate nature in this mountain setting, and the capitalized Cougar and Coyote,
I like the deep observation.
I hope all of you have had the chance to hear Gary Snyder read his work. He has a distinctive voice and reads well. He manifests a seriousness that sometimes is hard to find, I've been happy visiting this place through this poem. And now to bed. Good night.

Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment