This Present Moment: New Poems

This Present Moment: New Poems

by Gary Snyder


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"This present moment
That lives on

To become

Long ago."

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781619027381
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 04/12/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 88
Sales rank: 481,909
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Gary Snyder was born in San Francisco on May 8, 1930. His first book, Riprap, published in 1959, has become a classic in American poetry, and he’s gone on to publish more than a dozen collections of poetry and prose. Practice of the Wild is one of the most influential books about the environment of the last fifty years. His recently completed long poem, Mountains and Rivers Without End, is broadly recognized as one of the greatest long poems in American literature, and his last book of poems, Danger on Peaks, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was awarded the Bollingen Prize for poetry in 1997. He also has the distinction of being the first American to receive the Buddhism Transmission Award from the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai Foundation.

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
they are.

Table of Contents

I Outriders

Gnarly 3

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

First Flight

The Names of Actaeon's Hounds 15

Old New Mexican Genetics 16

Polyandry 17

Stages of the End of Night and Coming Day 18

II Locals

Why California Will Never Be Like Tuscany 21

Sunday 22

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

Second Flight

Fixing the System 35

"Reinventing North America" 36

From the Sky 37

Here 38

III Ancestors

Eiffel Tundra 41

Kill 42

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

Third Flight

Seven Brief Poems from Italia 55

Askesis, Praxis, Theôria, of the Wild 60

IV Go Now

Go Now 63

This present moment 67

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