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Gary Snyder -- Poet

Host(s): A. Poulin, Jr. and Stan Sanvel Rubin

Tape order number: C-266

Visit Date: November 8, 1972

Length: 57 minutes

Brief Summary: Snyder talks about the influence of growing up poor on a farm in Depression-era Washington state on his later development as a poet. His childhood, his studies in anthropology, and his early working life in logging and forestry shaped him into a committed environmentalist and advocate of non-Western philosophies; from these developed his ideas that poets and artists are in touch with "primitive," and are the "national parks" of civilization. Speaking the day after Nixon's reelection, Snyder asks, "But what did he win?" and suggests that the issues of the 1970s will not be political, but will be about energy and the need to build a sustainable future.

Work(s) Discussed:

  • Poems:
    • "Things To Do Around a Lookout"
    • "Things To Do at Ship at Sea"
    • "Spell Against Demons"
    • "Prayer for the Greek Family"
    • "A Curse Against the Man in Washington Pentagon"
    • "Four Changes"
    • "Smokey the Bear Sutra"
    • "Energy is a Term of Delight"
  • Essays:
    • "Poetry and the Primative"
    • "Buddhism and the Coming Revolution"
  • Collections:
    • Myths and Texts
    • Earth Household

    Work(s) Read:

    • "Song of the Taste"
    • "Rip Rap"
    • "This Poem is for Deer"
    • "Long Hair"
    • "As for Poets"

    Writers mentioned:

    • Poe
    • Stevenson
    • R. Browning
    • Whitman
    • Lawrence
    • Jeffers
    • H.T. Odums
    • Blake
    • Ginsberg
    • Duncan
    • Antoninus
    • Rexroth
    • J.O. Simon
    • H. Dahl
    • G. Stanley

    Our job as to keep a measure of sanity into modern times, no need to think of ourselves as eccentrics or freaks.

    -- Gary Snyder

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