FRIDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: GARY SNYDER


KISIABATON
by GARY SNYDER

Beat-up datsun idling in the road
shreds of fog
almost-vertical hillsides drop away
huge stumps fading into mist
soft warm rain

Snaggy, forked and spreading tops, a temperate cloud-forest tree

Chamaecyparis formosiana
Taiwan hinoki,
hung-kuai red cypress

That the tribal people call kisiabaton

this rare old tree
is what we came to see.

Gary Snyder (1930- ), is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet best known for his fascination with ecology, his Buddhism, and his close ties to the Beats.

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2 Responses to FRIDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: GARY SNYDER

  1. Sivan Butler-Rotholz says:

    What do you think of the fact that we leave open-ended parentheses after the names of people still living? Of course death is inevitable. But don’t the beginning and end-dates of a life become definitive when the life has ended? I feel that the parentheses are holding a space for death, saying, “We know you’re coming, your space here is reserved.”

    • Lezlie says:

      I think it’s kind of funny. Parentheses never seemed so ominous. Did you ever hear Chris Rock’s horoscopes? “Aries: you’re gonna die. Taurus: you’re gonna die. Gemini: you’re gonna die twice.”

      Lezlie Mayers (1980-!)

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