Gary Snyder Quotes

Gary Snyder (born May 8, 1930) is an American man of letters. Perhaps best known as a poet (often associated with the Beat Generation and the San Francisco Renaissance), he is also an essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist. He has been described as the "poet laureate of Deep Ecology". Snyder is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award. His work, in his various roles, reflects an immersion in both Buddhist spirituality and nature. Snyder has translated literature into English from ancient Chinese and modern Japanese. Snyder was an academic at the University of California, Davis and a member of the California Arts Council.

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Gary Snyder


I recalled when I worked in the woods and the bars of Madras, Oregon. That short-haired joy and roughness America your stupidity. I could almost love you again.

Gary Snyder


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Practically speaking, a life that is vowed to simplicity, appropriate boldness, good humor, gratitude, unstinting work and play, and lots of walking, brings us close to the actually existing world and its wholeness.

Gary Snyder


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Clambering up the Cold Mountain path, The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on: The long gorge choked with scree and boulders, The wide creek, the mist-blurred grass. The moss is slippery, though there's been no rain The pine sings, but there's no wind. Who can leap the world's ties And sit with me among the white clouds?

Gary Snyder


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I don't know of any other city where you can walk through so many culturally diverse neighborhoods, and you're never out of sight of the wild hills. Nature is very close here.

Gary Snyder


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Range after range of mountains. Year after year after year. I am still in love.

Gary Snyder


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Sometime in the last ten years the best brains of the Occident discovered to their amazement that we live in an Environment. This discovery has been forced on us by the realization that we are approaching the limits of something.

Gary Snyder


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In the belly of the furnace of creativity is a sexual fire; the flames twine about each other in fear and delight. The same sort of coiling, at a cooler, slower pace, is what the life of this planet looks like. The enormous spirals of typhoons, the twists and turns of mountain ranges and gorges, the waves and the deep ocean currents - a dragonlike writhing.

Gary Snyder


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All this new stuff goes on top turn it over, turn it over wait and water down from the dark bottom turn it inside out let it spread through Sift down even. Watch it sprout. A mind like compost.

Gary Snyder


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Today we are aware as never before of the plurality of human life-styles and possibilities, while at the same time being tied, like in an old silent movie, to a runaway locomotive rushing headlong toward a very singular catastrophe

Gary Snyder


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When the mind is exhausted of images, it invents its own.

Gary Snyder


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In the 40,000 year time scale we're all the same people. We're all equally primitive, give or take two or three thousand years here or a hundred years there.

Gary Snyder


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The other side of the "sacred" is the sight of your beloved in the underworld, dripping with maggots.

Gary Snyder


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Having a place means that you know what a place means...what it means in a storied sense of myth, character and presence but also in an ecological sense...Integrating native consciousness with mythic consciousness

Gary Snyder


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For several centuries Western civilization has had a drive for material accumulation, continual extensions of economic power, termed 'progress'...The longing for growth is not wrong. The nub of the problem is how to flip over, as in jujitsu, the magnificent growth energy of modern civilization into a nonacquisitive search for deeper knowledge of self and nature.

Gary Snyder


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Grandfather Space. The Mind is his Wife

Gary Snyder


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