Wednesday, June 3, 2009


While looking through my books, deciding which to keep and which to let go, I found my mother's copy of TURTLE ISLAND, first published by Gary Snyder in 1969. Yikes!!!! 40 years ago. She had bookmarked this poem, highlighting the last three lines. I'm going to keep my mother's book and let go of my copy. My mother spoke through books.


The rising hills, the slopes,
of statistics
lie before us.
the steep climb
of everything, going up,
up, as we all
go down.

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures
we can meet there in peace
if we make it

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children

stay together
learn the flowers
go light


R.L. Bourges said...

"my mother spoke through books" - beautiful.

Those last three lines really work as a wish for us all, yes?

best to you, am.

Anonymous said...

what r.l. said about those last lines. at the snyder reading, a poet friend from selah showed me a hand sewn copy of an early snyder book my friend's parents had given him when he finished grad school. what treasures to receive from parents.kjm

robin andrea said...

Oh this is my favorite Snyder poem. I love it so much. I like how your mother spoke.