Thursday, December 21, 2006

Writer's Corner: Gary Snyder

Born in San Francisco in 1930, Gary Snyder brought balance and Buddhism to the beats. It was his passion and Buddhist calmness that inspired Kerouac to write "The Dharma Bums". Snyder attended Reed College with friends and fellow beats Philip Whalen and Lew Welch. He then transferred to Berkeley to study Asian Languages, and it there that he met Kenneth Rexroth and fell into the Beat scene. According to Glyn Maxwell, "Snyder's poetry blends America's native past with the grandeur and detail of nature, and the mental disciplines of Zen Buddhism". Another good analogy is, "if Ginsberg was the Beat Whitman, then Snyder would be the Thoreau".

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

Snyder is most famous for reading his poem "A Berry Feast" at the famous 6 Poets at 6 Gallery on 10/7/55, the night Ginsberg debuted "Howl".

Poems online or Here