Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gary Snyder's Birthday

["On Prose vs Poetry, Work Poems" - Gary Snyder - speaking and reading at the 10th Annual Robert Creeley Awards, Acton, Massachusetts, 2010]

It's Gary Snyder's birthday today. He's 83 years old.  We draw your attention first to our two earlier Gary Snyder Birthday posts on the Allen Ginsberg Project - here and here

The local, has, of course, always been a (the) crucial context, so here's Gary on local (NCTV-11) Nevada tv, in May of last year, being, casually but respectfully, interviewed by Lew Sitzer (the interview begins approximately one-and-three-quarter minutes in, and lasts approximately 60 minutes - At the end, just after 45 minutes, he treats us to a reading of the classic "Smokey The Bear Sutra")   

More local, ecological attention. Here's two readings for the North Cascades Institute, the first in a high-school in Bellingham (Snyder begins by reading poems from Skagit poet , Robert Sund (1929-2001) (Poems from Ish River Country) and from Robinson Jeffers, (1887-1962) before turning to his own work), the second, (in two parts), a few years later, in Seattle, introduced by NCI's co-founder and executive director, Saul Weisberg (Snyder's talk, "a combination of commentary, some poems and some prose", begins approximately six minutes in) here and here)

Notes from a more recent address (a digest of his April 2013 Hopwood Lecture) are available here   

Gary reads "some accessible poems of work and love woven together" for the Robert Creeley Foundation in Acton, Mass., in 2010 [see the video above], including the much-anthologized "Hay for the Horses" - and "Oil" - and, "Mount St.Helens" - and "Mu Qi's Persimmons"  

                                                     [Mu Xi  (13th Century) - Six Persimmons]

"Allen (once) called me laconic - that's because I like haiku!" 
[the three-line "minimalist" poem, frustratingly cut off in this footage, ("Hiking in the Totsugawa Gorge") reads - "pissing/watching/a waterfall" !]

A musical sign-off - here's the British group, Heath Common and The Thin Man and their salute to Gary ("Why (Log) Truck Drivers Rise Earlier Than Students of Zen") - "Gary Snyder's Lament" (the film accompanying it is by Trevor Pollard)

Happy Birthday, Gary - celebrations today

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