May 10, 2012

Gary Snyder: The Practice of the Wild. {Video}

For the Children

The rising hills, the slopes,

of statistics

lie before us.

the steep climb

of everything, going up,

up, as we all

go down.

In the next century

or the one beyond that,

they say,

are valleys, pastures,

we can meet there in peace

if we make it.

To climb these coming crests

one word to you, to

you and your children:

stay together

learn the flowers

go light.

~ Gary Snyder

Poet Gary Snyder celebrates his birthday this week.

Snyder’s poems birth a wildness resting on calm. His words offer a lovely emptiness into which natural appreciation of wilderness can unfurl. There is a comfortableness, a calling, a wetness to his work.

Whole Earth Films (view trailer above) has created a documentary, The Practice of the Wild, about Gary’s work, reflected through a discussion with novelist Jim Harrison.  Whole Earth Films says of the documentary:

Poet and naturalist Gary Snyder has been at the center of cultural changes which transformed the modern world. Along with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, he was a founding author of the Beat generation. He helped bring Zen Buddhism into the America scene, was an active participant in the anti-war movement, and served as literary inspiration to seekers of freedom, mindfulness and higher human potential.

Snyder won a Pulitzer Prize in 1975. His great epic poem: Mountains and Rivers Without End was completed in 1996. He has been called the poet laureate of Deep Ecology.

Since a childhood in the Cascades, he has been the voice of a new environmental awareness, which never loses sight of direct wild experience—local people, animals, plants, watersheds and food sources.

The film follows Snyder and novelist Jim Harrison (Dalva, Legends of the Fall), as the two old friends wander along trails of the central California coast — in a remote area untouched for centuries. They debate the pros and cons of everything from Google to Zen koans. The discussions are punctuated by archival materials and commentaries from Snyder’s literary contemporaries, friends, and intimates.

For more on Gary’s work I direct you here:

Gary Snyder on Ecology {Video}. Note: a must-see.

Letters of Alan Ginsberg and Gary Snyder

The Paris Review Interview

Department of English at UC Davis

Poetry Foundation on Gary Snyder


And this, from Gary in an interview with Shambhala Sun:

“Care for the environment is like noblesse oblige,” he maintains. “You don’t do it because it has to be done. You do it because it’s beautiful. That’s the bodhisattva spirit. The bodhisattva is not anxious to do good, or feels obligation or anything like that. In Jodo-shin Buddhism, which my wife was raised in, the bodhisattva just says, ‘I picked up the tab for everybody. Goodnight folks…’ “


~Like elephant green on Facebook.~

Read 2 Comments and Reply

Read 2 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Jill Barth  |  Contribution: 4,500