Gary Snyder talks about poetry.
Gary Snyder (born May 8, 1930) is an American poet (often associated with the Beat Generation and the San Francisco Renaissance), as well as an essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist (frequently described as the “poet laureate of Deep Ecology“). Snyder is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His work, in his various roles, reflects an immersion in both Buddhist spirituality and nature. Snyder has also translated literature into English from ancient Chinese and modern Japanese. For many years, Snyder served as a faculty member at the University of California, Davis, and served for a time on the California Arts Council.
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It’s good to hear what other writers/poets think about ‘how poems start’ and what their opinions are on style/voice.
It’s interesting that Mr. Snyder says his ‘style’ has undergone many changes thru the years–3 to 4 is what he said i believe. In this particular segment/video clip he doesn’t define poetry but it surely is at the heart of where his style comes from.
“Poems start as images…complex.” hmm. He prefaces that by saying ‘For me,…’–it’s different for everyone.
I believe he also said that for his style rhythm becomes primary. What i deduce from this statement is that rhythm is his guiding force at the front of a ship navigating a course thru fog and virgin waters. So, in other words, there are ideas, feelings, imagination, reason, in the back of the head [or boat] but there has to be an idiom or mode of expression, a voice, a style, and though a style may have many components which make up its whole, his primary ‘poetic tool’ is his rhythm–it tells him where to go and shapes the poem.
Good food for thought!