Gary Snyder: Three Poems

These previously unpublished titles are included in the Library of America’s volume of the Pulitzer and Bollingen Prize–winning poet’s work.

gary snyder, gary snyder collected poems
University of California Davis

Mountains Walk on Water

Sunrise a rose-red crack below the clouds, above the fog;

folds of ranges north edges burning

Shadow hollows, dropt-out dewy rounded cliffs,
layer on layer—rock, cloud—

Snaky ridges wriggle the abyss mountain wall mist tatters,
cloud veil thins and peels,
a rush of water running down there rising—

Rose light leaping hill to hill—dark down gorges have no

no bottom to the bottom.

Taiwan’s twenty million people
live below these mountain depths,

soaking cliffs and drippy elder trees.

c. 1995

Where the Sammamish, the Snohomish, and the Skykomish All Come In

The sweet insipid taste of salal
and the sharp sour Oregon grape

bland salmonberry
spit-bugs inside

grasshoppers under dry
Cowpies China pheasant flies up

broad white dogwood bloom
we tried smoking shredded cedarbark

bubbles of pitch in the bark
pull bracken ferns to throw like spears

cows, they
shit as they walk
plop plop

July–September 2005

What a life!

the single fly
in the spotless Forest Service

Candle Creek, Oregon
c. September 2007

Excerpted from Gary Snyder: Collected Poems. Copyright (c) 2022 by Gary Snyder. Used by permission, Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., New York, N.Y. All rights reserved.

Library of America


Library of America

Gary Snyder is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and a California native.
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