cover image Uncollected Poems, Drafts, Fragments, and Translations

Uncollected Poems, Drafts, Fragments, and Translations

Gary Snyder. Counterpoint, $20 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-64009-577-9

Composed during some of Snyder’s most productive years, these previously uncollected and unpublished works by the Pulitzer Prize–winning Beat poet sing with history, politics, and place, offering new glimpses into Snyder’s verse. “A Curse on the Men in Washington, Pentagon,” dating from June 1967, declares, “As you shoot down the Vietnamese girls and men/ in their fields/ burning and chopping,/ poisoning and blighting,// So surely I hunt the white man down/ in my heart.” The poem ends, “This magic I work, this loving I give/ that my children may flourish// And yours won’t thrive.” “What a life!” captures the ecstatic focus and compressed vision the poet is known for: “the single fly/ in the spotless Forest Service/ campground/ toilet” (Candle Creek, Oregon). Translations of Chinese and Japanese poets add another layer to Snyder’s preoccupations, such as “After Doˉgen”: “Mimulus on the cliffside in April/ Nuthatches in the summer pines/ Cranes calling south in September/ Winter pond-ice crackling bright.” Readers drawn to Snyder’s irrepressible energy will find this a worthy addition to his established body of work. (Aug.)