American Poetry, Poetry

Gary Snyder – For Nothing

Zen student, poet and environmental activist Gary Snyder’s Turtle Island, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1975. For Nothing is one of the poems in this book that present a vision of rediscovery of the north American continent whereby its inhabitants cease to behave as colonizers but rather as natives. 

 

Earth a flower
A phlox on the steep
slopes of light
hanging over the vast
solid spaces
small rotten crystals;
salts.

Earth a flower
by a gulf where a raven
flaps by once
a glimmer, a color
forgotten as all
falls away.

A flower
for nothing;
an offer;
no taker;

Snow-trickle, feldspar, dirt.

 

Gary Snyder
From: Turtle Island

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