AN UNCOMMON THOUGHT

"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

08 May 2012

Happy Birthday, Snyder.


Poet Gary Snyder was born on this date in 1930.

Some points for a "New Nature Poetics"

That it be literate -- that is, nature literate. Know who's who and what's what in the ecosystem, even if this aspect is barely visible in the writing.

That it be grounded in a place -- thus, place literate: informed about local specifics on both ecological-biotic and sociopolitical levels. And informed about history (social history and environmental history), even if this is not obvious in the poem.

That it use Coyote as a totem -- the trickster, always open, shape shifting, providing the eye of other beings going in and out of death, laughing with the dark side.

That it use Bear as a totem -- omnivorous, fearless, without anxiety, steady, generous, contemplative, and relentlessly protective of the wild.

That it find further totems -- this is the world of nature, myth, archetype, and ecosystem that we mush each investigate. "Depth ecology."

That it fear not science. Go beyond nature literacy into the emergent ne territories in science: landscape ecology, conservation biology, charming chaos, complicated systems theory.

That it go further with science -- into awareness of the problematic and contigent aspects of so-called objectivity.

That it study mind and language -- language as a wild system, mind as wild habitat, world as a "making" (poem), poem as a creature of the wild mind.

That it be crafty and get the work done.


- Gary Snyder

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