Mountains and Rivers Without End

Mountains and Rivers Without End When this landmark work was first published Gary Snyder was honored with the Bollingen Poetry Prize the Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award and the Orion Societys John Hay Award Publishers Wee

  • Title: Mountains and Rivers Without End
  • Author: Gary Snyder
  • ISBN: 9781887178570
  • Page: 436
  • Format: Paperback
  • When this landmark work was first published, Gary Snyder was honored with the Bollingen Poetry Prize, the Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Orion Societys John Hay Award Publishers Weekly named Mountains and Rivers Without End one of the best books of 1996 On April 8, 1956, Gary Snyder began work on a long poem entitled Mountains and Rives Without End InWhen this landmark work was first published, Gary Snyder was honored with the Bollingen Poetry Prize, the Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Orion Societys John Hay Award Publishers Weekly named Mountains and Rivers Without End one of the best books of 1996 On April 8, 1956, Gary Snyder began work on a long poem entitled Mountains and Rives Without End Initially inspired by East Asian landscape painting and his own experience within a chaotic universe where everything is in place, Snyders vision was further stimulated by Asian art and drama, Gaia history, Native American performance and storytelling, the practice of Zen Buddhism, and the varied landscapes of Japan, California, Alaska, Australia, China, and Taiwan.While a few individual sections of the poem have been published in literary magazines and a small bound collection, Snyders ardent fans have waited patiently through the past forty years for the completion of Mountains and Rivers Without End The entire work appears for the first time in this volume.Traveling beyond its origins in the Western tradition of Whitman, Pound, and Williams, Mountains and Rivers is an epic of geology, prehistory, and planetary m

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    1 thought on “Mountains and Rivers Without End”

    1. I first met Gary Snyder in person in the winter of 1976 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at my alma mater, Calvin College. The previous year, when I had been the Writers Guild chairman, we had invited in three writers, the novelist Chaim Potok who was the first rabbi to speak on Calvin’s campus, the beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and the Black Mountain poet Robert Creeley. The following year, Snyder came in. His reading was typically gentle and almost aphoristic, unassuming. When we talked with hi [...]

    2. Confucius: In hewing an ax handle, the pattern is not far off.Ezra Pound: When making an axe handle, the pattern is not far off.Snyder: It's in Lu Ji's Wen Fu, fourth centuryA.D. "Essay on Literature"-in thePreface: "In making the handleOf an axeBy cutting wood with an axeThe model is indeed near at hand."My teacher Shih-hsiang ChenTranslated that and taught it years agoAnd I see: Pound was an axe,Chen was an axe, I am an axeAnd my son a handle, soonTo be shaping again, modelAnd tool, craft of c [...]

    3. I need to buy this book and spend years with it. The poems are dense with images. Don't you envy him and the depth of his experience with place?

    4. Beautiful. Snyder falls into a slightly different category from other beat poets like Ginsberg, Kerouac, Corso, Bremser etc. He studied Zen Buddhism in more depth than the other beat writers and poets and there is a certain serenity and harmony in these works which reflect his maturity as a writer and his depth of thought. Some of these poems read like short travelogues/diary entries as he travels from place to place. I'm not sure whether this falls strictly into the beat poetry catalogue but it [...]

    5. I relished this remarkable volume of poetry for months, a taste here and a sampling there. It was so varied in its style - from long, rugged, list-like accountings of road journeys, to fleeting ethereal portraits of nature. Mountains were at the heart of it, although it's a challenging book to fully grasp the connective tissue of, especially for someone like me who'd never read Gary Snyder before. But as I read, I felt at times like each word should be rolled over on the tongue, handled, examine [...]

    6. As has already been stated in many of the the prior reviews for this work, it is quite apparent that this is the likeliness candidate to be considered Mr. Snyder's magnum opus, his master work. Throughout the book many sweeping themes and references to many universal or deep concepts arise, intermingle, and blur. This intertwining of vines of meaning leads to a highly engaging series of poems both long and short that send the reader around the world and off into the depths of the poet's mind and [...]

    7. A treasure of 20th century American poetry. "Clearing the mind and sliding in to that created space, a web of waters streaming over rocks, air misty but not raining"

    8. Gary Snyder’s Mountains and River’s Without End, is a culmination of poems inspired by eastern Asian landscape and the nature that surrounded him on his travels. I was inspired and decided to read this book after doing some research on the author and truly thought this would be something beautiful. I have always loved poems. The imagery and energy I can get from reading one has always been so insightful and after hearing it had taken Snyder almost 40-years to finish this poem, it made it jus [...]

    9. Gary Snyder was not in a hurry to finish his epic poem, which reflects his Zen beliefs and lifestyle. Started in Marin in 1956, and completed in his Sierra home in 1996, the poem showcases a diversity of life experiences and ways of looking at them. The title, Mountains and Rivers Without End, comes from an Asian hand scroll, to which Snyder found a reference while a student. Years later, Snyder was able to view the scroll itself. In the meantime, Snyder worked on his poem cycle in a nonconsecut [...]

    10. Written over forty years, MOUNTAINS AND RIVERS WITHOUT END is poet Gary Snyder's highest achievment. Here he has presented a perception of the world that has taken four decades of experience to put into words. The collection moves chronologically from Snyder's glimpse in the 50's of a Japanese scroll that gave the book its name, though his wanderings in the American West, and into senescene.Decades of travel have exposure Snyder to so much of our planet, and this experience forms a major part of [...]

    11. After experiencing the deeply moving brilliance of Snyder's Turtle Island, then being disappointed with Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems, now here, with supposedly his greatest work, I was bored with the endlessly enumerated comma-separated lists describing nature. Most of the poems go absolutely nowhere, which I am prepared to admit is probably the point.There is little to no emotional depth to the poems. Many allude to the practices of Zen Buddhism, about which I have no interest. After eliminat [...]

    12. This is probably Gary Snyder's magnum opus - his Leaves of Grass. It's been forty years in the writing, and though it may no longer be subject to revision, it seems like the summation of a lifetime of study, and writing. Mr. Snyder refers to it as a "sutra," which is a Buddhist tract, akin to a gospel - it's the good news. And this is the good news of its title - Mountains and Rivers Without End, based on a scroll painting of the same name, that begins with a verbal trip through the scroll and o [...]

    13. Snyder worked on this long poem for over 40 years. It was worth it. I read this as the culmination of a couple of months with The Gary Snyder Reader, which was the perfect entry point. M&R brings together all of Snyder's major concerns and reflects the stages of his complicated ongoing journey: his youth in the Pacific Northwest, immersion in the forests and mountains, apprenticeship to a Zen monastery in Japan, decision to homestead a place in northern California and raise his family, envir [...]

    14. This book is one of the unjustly neglected great American long poems, in the lineage of Pound's CANTOS, WCW's PATERSON, Olson's MAXIMUS POEMS, Neruda's CANTO GENERAL, McGrath's LETTER TO AN IMAGINARY FRIEND and others. Snyder wrote this poem over a 40-year period and it is a sort of summation of all his poetic concerns. Here is Zen, American Indian folklore, Wob-style Western Americana, ecology, and landscape, all woven together in Snyder's distinctive diamond-sharp style. Snyder's line does hav [...]

    15. Snyder's poetry is not for everybody, but I love it. It's a spare poetry, heavy on detail, low on lyricism. So the insights and the lyrical moments feel earned; the observations are sharp, acute, true. This collection has two great poems in particular: The Marketplace, where he describes the sights, sounds, smells, the people and the items in traditional marketplaces from all over the world. And The Los Angeles River Basin at Night, which treats the city as a natural phenomenon, an ecosystem, wi [...]

    16. Snyder's magnum opus, blurring past, present and future, here and there, nature and civilization, the Cosmos and roadside diners into one limitless, endless field of being. And yet, accessible and warming as a campfire on a cool Sierra night. Wise, rich, and rewarding. I've spent a lot of time and drank many cups of early morning coffee with his poetry over the past year, and feel very grateful for it.

    17. Enjoyed the last half of the book the most. I recommend reading the "Making of" at the end of the book before the poems in order to get better context for where / when / why he was writing them. There are also notes at the back of the book with background information for certain poems. Having a special place in my heard for the Pacific Northwest gave me all the more reason to appreciate Snyder's use of the mountains, rivers, trees, and mythology as important figures in the poems.

    18. It's been awhile since I read this book. I do have the first chapbook publication of it. Snyder does the "long poem" well, although his shorter lyrics may be more effective. Seeing it here makes me want to reread it — along with the many other books I've been reading and rereading.Gary Snyder has had enough influence that there are less-gifted poets who mimic his voice and style and form. I may've done that myself, in fact.

    19. I enjoyed this book and suspect I will like it even more the next time through. The "making of" at the back of the book was really interesting and shed some light on things to explore more fully. The poems in this collection are quite good, but I think the real power comes from the work as a whole, which is why another reading should reveal even more.

    20. absolutely my all-time favorite book. find myself going to it again and again. my all-time favorite poem, "the blue sky", which kevin read to me at our wedding, is in this collection. i just can't get enough of gary snyder.

    21. I'm not a huge poetry fan, but Gary hits all the right buttons. This volume eloquently crystallizes our legacy of wilderness and wildness in words. Gary is truly gifted. If you ever get a chance to see him read in person, don't miss it!

    22. My stepmother gave me this long ago. After reading a New Yorker profile on Snyder, I realize it's because he's been a real conservationist and ecologist voice since bfore it was anything close to popular. I decided to give this another try.

    23. Beautiful, a rare gift to any searcher. After hearing about an intense experience that a dear friend had in Japan I passed my copy on to him. I never give away my poetry books but I made an exception, particularly after being given an Alice Notely book by a housemate during a difficult time.

    24. If you spend time outside and/or are into mythology then this book nears perfection. If not then you'll probably not understand most of it and won't dig it.

    25. I had the insanely good fortune of listening to the author read from this book under the open stars one summer night, somewhere in the Sierras. It was amazing.

    26. An astonishing book-length poem/poem sequence, four decades in the making. Undoubtedly the summary of Snyder's career as a poet. I read it from cover to cover like a novel.

    27. I think I just like his prose so much more than his poetry. I'd pack it in my bindle with me on a summertime ramble, though.

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