Even Newsweek magazine honors Gary Snyder, 85, as our honored elder

Gary Snyder came to Jackson Wyoming one evening back in the mid-’80s, when I lived there. Or, I should say, when I had landed there, in a yurt, temporarily, I figured.

Home sweet yurt.

Home sweet yurt.

The yurt, I told people, was my launching pad. For about a decade I had been flitting about like a bird, always looking for where the grass was greener.

Then Gary Snyder came to town. And read to us from his latest book of poems. At one point, during the Q &A, he told us that we need to pick a place, and to dig in. I’ll never forget that remark. It reverberated into my flighty gypsy body, shook my very bones.

So I tried to ground there, in the Tetons. I really did. But I couldn’t root in. Something in me forbade it. In 2003 I finally moved, and landed here, in Bloomington, Indiana, the midwest where, for some mysterious reason, I was able to dig in. And wow, the grass really IS greener! — at least during spring/summer of 2015, thanks to persistent rains.

This long encomium by Sean Elder was published today, July 1, 2015, in Newsweek magazine, honoring the author of This Present Moment, a new book of poems.

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Gary Snyder, ‘Poet Laureate of Our Continent,’ lives in the present

Excerpt:

An odd blend of old and new San Francisco turned out to see Gary Snyder at the Nourse Theater one evening in May. Former counterculture standard-bearers such as Michael McClure and Peter Coyote mixed with young tattooed hipsters, curious techies and California Governor Jerry Brown. When I pulled out my reporter’s notebook, the young Indian man sitting next to me said, “Are we supposed to take notes?”

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One Response to Even Newsweek magazine honors Gary Snyder, 85, as our honored elder

  1. corbin baird says:

    thank you for sharing this. The role of Snyder’s work on my life has been significant to say the least.

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