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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems

Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems

by Gary Snyder

After reading Danger on Peaks, I was inclined to reread Cold Mountain Poems, republished with Riprap, Snyder's first poetry book in 1959.

Riprap is a cobblestone laid on steep sick rock to make trail  horses in mountains.  These poems written before I was 9, didn't talk to me too much, however, certain lines of beauty showed signs of insight into what was yet to come from their enduring author.

From Kyoto: March

"High at the end of night-

meditation.  The dove cry

twangs the bow"

Cold Mountain poems are simple, especially after reading Red Pines marvelous study of E.M.  However, I found rereading them was better for me.  Gary picked up some good stuff 50 years ago.

1)  "Body asking shadow,how do you keep up"

11)  "Moonlight on Cold Mountain is white

          silent knowledge- the spirit is enlightened of itself"


19)  " Taking whatever comes, like a drifting boat"

I ask myself "how far will Gary's boat drift?"

Thanks Gary for opening eyes, offering ideas for us to think about and helping us all see more in ourselves.