Climate Change, Poetry and Gary Snyder

The theme for National Poetry Month this year is climate changes. When I think of ecology, environment, and climate changes I can’t help but think of poet Gary Snyder. Snyder’s poetry speaks of species destruction and destruction of life on this planet. He studied Indian cultures that offered a more harmonious relation with nature. For poetry written 20 to 30 years ago, Snyder’s perception of a changing climate was terribly accurate. New York Times Book Review correspondent Herbert Leibowitz said of the poet “Snyder’s sane housekeeping principles desperately need to become Government and corporate policy”. Snyder is often associated with the Beat Generation and was the inspiration for the character Japhy Ryder in Jack Kerouac’s novel The Dharma Bums. If that isn’t enough, he is also a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Rather than list excepts from his work, I invite you to listen to Gary Snyder as he reads from his work and discusses the connection between ecology and poetry: part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

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