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Best Famous Gary Snyder Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Gary Snyder poems. This is a select list of the best famous Gary Snyder poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Gary Snyder poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Gary Snyder poems.

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by Gary Snyder | |

There Are Those Who Love To Get Dirty

 There are those who love to get dirty
 and fix things.
They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work, And those who stay clean, just appreciate things, At breakfast they have milk and juice at night.
There are those who do both, they drink tea.


by Gary Snyder | |

For Lew Welch In A Snowfall

 Snowfall in March:
I sit in the white glow reading a thesis
About you.
Your poems, your life.
The author's my student, He even quotes me.
Forty years since we joked in a kitchen in Portland Twenty since you disappeared.
All those years and their moments— Crackling bacon, slamming car doors, Poems tried out on friends, Will be one more archive, One more shaky text.
But life continues in the kitchen Where we still laugh and cook, Watching snow.


by Gary Snyder | |

Axe Handles

 One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head Without a handle, in the shop And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door Is long enough for a hatchet, We cut it to length and take it With the hatchet head And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle With the hatchet, and the phrase First learned from Ezra Pound Rings in my ears! "When making an axe handle the pattern is not far off.
" And I say this to Kai "Look: We'll shape the handle By checking the handle Of the axe we cut with—" And he sees.
And I hear it again: It's in Lu Ji's We Fu, fourth century A.
D.
"Essay on Literature" - in the Preface: "In making the handle Of an axe By cutting wood with an axe The model is indeed near at hand.
" My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen Translated that and taught it years ago And I see: Pound was an axe, Chen was an axe, I am an axe And my son a handle, soon To be shaping again, model And tool, craft of culture, How we go on.


More great poems below...

by Gary Snyder | |

Riprap

 Lay down these words
Before your mind like rocks.
placed solid, by hands In coice of place, set Before the body of the mind in space and time: Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall riprap of things: Cobble of milky way, straying planets, These poems, people, lost ponies with Dragging saddles-- and rocky sure-foot trails.
The worlds like an endless four-dimensional Game of Go.
ants and pebbles In the thin loam, each rock a word a creek-washed stone Granite: ingrained with torment of fire and weight Crystal and sediment linked hot all change, in thoughts, As well as things.


by Gary Snyder | |

December At Yase

 You said, that October,
In the tall dry grass by the orchard
When you chose to be free,
"Again someday, maybe ten years.
" After college I saw you One time.
You were strange, And I was obsessed with a plan.
Now ten years and more have Gone by: I've always known where you were— I might have gone to you Hoping to win your love back.
You still are single.
I didn't.
I thought I must make it alone.
I Have done that.
Only in dream, like this dawn, Does the grave, awed intensity Of our young love Return to my mind, to my flesh.
We had what the others All crave and seek for; We left it behind at nineteen.
I feel ancient, as though I had Lived many lives.
And may never now know If I am a fool Or have done what my karma demands.


by Gary Snyder | |

For/From Lew

 Lew Welch just turned up one day,
live as you and me.
"Damn, Lew" I said, "you didn't shoot yourself after all.
" "Yes I did" he said, and even then I felt the tingling down my back.
"Yes you did, too" I said—"I can feel it now.
" "Yeah" he said, "There's a basic fear between your world and mine.
I don't know why.
What I came to say was, teach the children about the cycles.
The life cycles.
All other cycles.
That's what it's all about, and it's all forgot.
"


by Gary Snyder | |

How Poetry Comes to Me

How Poetry Comes to Me

It comes blundering over the
 Boulders at night, it stays
 Frightened outside the
 Range of my campfire
 I go to meet it at the
 Edge of the light


by Gary Snyder | |

For All

For All

 Ah to be alive
 on a mid-September morn
 fording a stream
 barefoot, pants rolled up,
 holding boots, pack on,
 sunshine, ice in the shallows,
 northern rockies.

 Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
 stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
 cold nose dripping
 singing inside
 creek music, heart music,
 smell of sun on gravel.

 I pledge allegiance

 I pledge allegiance to the soil
 of Turtle Island,
 and to the beings who thereon dwell
 one ecosystem
 in diversity
 under the sun
 With joyful interpenetration for all.


by Gary Snyder | |

On Top

On Top

All this new stuff goes on top
 turn it over, turn it over
 wait and water down
 from the dark bottom
 turn it inside out
 let it spread through
 Sift down even.
 Watch it sprout.

 A mind like compost.


by Gary Snyder | |

Hay for the Horses

Hay for the Horses

He had driven half the night
 From far down San Joaquin
 Through Mariposa, up the
 Dangerous Mountain roads,
 And pulled in at eight a.m.
 With his big truckload of hay
             behind the barn.
 With winch and ropes and hooks
 We stacked the bales up clean
 To splintery redwood rafters
 High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
 Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
 Itch of haydust in the 
             sweaty shirt and shoes.
 At lunchtime under Black oak
 Out in the hot corral,
 ---The old mare nosing lunchpails,
 Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds---
 "I'm sixty-eight" he said,
 "I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
 I thought, that day I started,
 I sure would hate to do this all my life.
 And dammit, that's just what
 I've gone and done."


by Gary Snyder | |

Old Bones

Old Bones

Out there walking round, looking out for food,
 a rootstock, a birdcall, a seed that you can crack
 plucking, digging, snaring, snagging,
         barely getting by, 

 no food out there on dusty slopes of scree—
carry some—look for some,
 go for a hungry dream.
 Deer bone, Dall sheep,
         bones hunger home. 

 Out there somewhere
 a shrine for the old ones,
 the dust of the old bones,
         old songs and tales. 

 What we ate—who ate what—
        how we all prevailed. 


by Gary Snyder | |

Kisiabaton

Kisiabaton


Beat-up datsun idling in the road
 shreds of fog
 almost-vertical hillsides drop away
 huge stumps fading into mist
 soft warm rain

Snaggy, forked and spreading tops, a temperate cloud-forest tree 


Chamaecyparis formosiana--
 Taiwan hinoki,
hung-kuai     red cypress

That the tribal people call kisiabaton 


this rare old tree
 is what we came to see. 


by Gary Snyder | |

At Tower Peak

At Tower Peak

 Every tan rolling meadow will turn into housing
 Freeways are clogged all day
 Academies packed with scholars writing papers
 City people lean and dark
 This land most real 
 As its western-tending golden slopes
 And bird-entangled central valley swamps
 Sea-lion, urchin coasts
 Southerly salmon-probes 
 Into the aromatic almost-Mexican hills
 Along a range of granite peaks
 The names forgotten,
 An eastward running river that ends out in desert
 The chipping ground-squirrels in the tumbled blocks
 The gloss of glacier ghost on slab
 Where we wake refreshed from ten hours sleep
 After a long day's walking
 Packing burdens to the snow
 Wake to the same old world of no names,
 No things, new as ever, rock and water,
 Cool dawn birdcalls, high jet contrails.
 A day or two or million, breathing
 A few steps back from what goes down
 In the current realm.
 A kind of ice age, spreading, filling valleys
 Shaving soils, paving fields, you can walk in it
 Live in it, drive through it then 
 It melts away
 For whatever sprouts
 After the age of
 Frozen hearts. Flesh-carved rock
 And gusts on the summit,
 Smoke from forest fires is white,
 The haze above the distant valley like a dusk.
 It's just one world, this spine of rock and streams
 And snow, and the wash of gravels, silts
 Sands, bunchgrasses, saltbrush, bee-fields,
 Twenty million human people, downstream, here below.