That lives on
For his first collection of new poems since his celebrated Danger on Peaks, published in 2004, Gary Snyder finds himself ranging over the planet. Journeys to the Dolomites, to the north shore of Lake Tahoe, from Paris and Tuscany to the shrine at Delphi, from Santa Fe to Sella Pass, Snyder lays out these poems as a map of the last decade. Placed side-by-side, they become a path and a trail of complexity and lyrical regard, a sort of riprap of the poet’s eighth decade. And in the mix are some of the most beautiful domestic poems of his great career, poems about his work as a homesteader and householder, as a father and husband, as a friend and neighbor. A centerpiece in this collection is a long poem about the death of his beloved, Carole Koda, a rich poem of grief and sorrow, rare in its steady resolved focus on a dying wife, of a power unequaled in American poetry.
As a friend is quoted in one of these new poems:
"I met the other lately in the far back of a bar,
musicians playing near the window and he
sweetly told me “listen to that music.
The self we hold so dear will soon be gone.”"
Gary Snyder is one of the greatest American poets of the last century, and This Present Moment shows his command, his broad range, and his remarkable courage.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I could never be a Muslim, or a Christian, or a Jew because the Ten Commandments fall short of moral vigor. The Bible’s “Shalt not kill” leaves out other realms of life,
How could that be? What sort of world did they think this is?
With no account for all the wriggling feelers and little fins, the spines, the slimy
Necks eyes shiny in the night paw prints in the snow.
And that other thing, can’t have “no other god before me” like,
profound anxiety of power and jealousy and envy, what sort of god is that?
Worrying all the time?
Plenty of little gods are waiting to begin their practice and learn just who
Table of Contents
The Earth's Wild Places 4
Siberian Outpost 5
Walking the Long and Shady Elwha 6
Charles Freer in a Sierra Snowstorm 8
Why I Take Good Care of My Macintosh 9
Artemis and Pan 10
Anger, Cattle, and Achilles 11
A Letter to M.A. Who Lives Far Away 12
The Names of Actaeon's Hounds 15
Old New Mexican Genetics 16
Stages of the End of Night and Coming Day 18
Why California Will Never Be Like Tuscany 21
Michael des Tombe at the edge of the Canyon the Killigrew Place 23
Chiura Obata's Moon 24
How to Know Birds 25
Starting the Spring Garden and Thinking of Thomas Jefferson 26
Log Truck on the 80 28
Stories in the Night 29
Morning Songs, Goose Lake 31
Fixing the System 35
"Reinventing North America" 36
From the Sky 37
Eiffel Tundra 41
Claws / Cause 43
Hai-en Temple South Korea Home of the Total Tripitaka Set of Printing Blocks 44
Young David in Florence, Before the Kill 45
Mu Ch'i's Persimmons 46
The Bend in the Vlatava 48
The Shrine at Delphi 49
Wildfire News 51
Otzi Crosses Over 52
Seven Brief Poems from Italia 55
Askesis, Praxis, Theôria, of the Wild 60
IV Go Now
Go Now 63
This present moment 67