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This Present Moment: New Poems

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  114 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"This present moment
That lives on

To become

Long ago."

For his first collection of new poems since his celebrated Danger on Peaks, published in 2004, Gary Snyder finds himself ranging over the planet. Journeys to the Dolomites, to the north shore of Lake Tahoe, from Paris and Tuscany to the shrine at Delphi, from Santa Fe to Sella Pass, Snyder lays out these poems as a map
Hardcover, 88 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Counterpoint (first published April 1st 2015)
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Craig Werner
May 18, 2015 Craig Werner rated it really liked it
Gary Snyder has aged as gracefully as any writer I can think of, assuming the mantle of Turtle Island elder with a calm intelligence and humor that shines through the murk of a time and place that have lost touch with their roots and possibilities. The final poem in the collection's worth quoting in full:

This present moment
that lives on

to become

long ago

This Present Moment is in part a miscellany, gathering poems written decades ago (several, Snyder writes in the notes, lost or misplaced) with se
Larry Smith
Jun 26, 2015 Larry Smith rated it it was amazing
If you have followed the writing of Gary Snyder these past 50 years as I have, you will be doubly delighted by the echoes found in this collection done in his 80s. There are poems of people and places, of love and age, and the sweet connections we can make when we just listen closely to the world around us. Snyder is a poet of the seen in his early poems of sexuality and in the wonderful "The Bath" in which he baths his young son, his wife, and himself. Here that intimacy comes in the ...more
Apr 04, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bob Peru
Jun 12, 2015 Bob Peru rated it it was amazing
the piece about his wife's death is for all the marbles.
beautifully moving.
and harrowing.
Sep 07, 2016 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2016
His first collection since 2004, this book finds Gary Snyder to be a strong, vital poet speaking on nature and spirit. The longer poem, "Go Now," written about the death of his wife is a devastating and powerful piece that only increases Snyder's already strong reputation. A strong entry in the work of an important American poet.
Dan Gobble
Mar 14, 2016 Dan Gobble rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books, poetry
I enjoyed Snyder's short, terse poems, coarse in places, fully connected to place, whether his own backyard or visiting the Hai-en Temple in South Korea. One of my favorites from this collection is titled "Inupiaq values" and needs no explanation:

"Inupiaq values"
Jul 03, 2015 William rated it really liked it
"Go Now" is one of the most real, compassionate poems I've ever read. Contemplating his wife's death, Snyder captures the triple depth of love, sorrow, and relief with such rooted resonance. His verse has the tenacity of one of the gnarly old trees that crop up throughout the book, but is imbued with the emotional and spiritual resilience necessary to keep from snapping.

This was my first book-length experience with Snyder. I can't claim to have understood all his references, much less how the bo
Mark Valentine
Jul 24, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it it was amazing
Snyder's poems are essays in miniature--essays on a page, in a few wisps of words. If I am in a hurry to think for a long time, they are perfect.

My absolute favorite in his latest collection is the last poem, "Go Now." Against his warning, I read it and it worked its way into my consciousness. But I also loved "Reinventing North America," "Walking the Long and Shady Elwha," and "Gnarly."
John Ricker
Jun 26, 2015 John Ricker rated it it was amazing
Not being a big reader of poetry I have to say I was taken off guard by Gary Snyder's poetry. It is well written and very moving. I won this great book on GoodReads and like I do with most my wins I will be paying it forward by giving my win either to a friend or library to enjoy.
The descriptions speak to me and tap me into the essence of BEING alive.With a select few, Snyder is worthy of being placed next to Stonehouse(Red Pine Translation) on a special bookshelf. I am grateful that I can read.Superb.
Steven Peck
Feb 04, 2016 Steven Peck rated it it was amazing
A beautiful meditation on nature and life. One of our greatest poets, does not disappoint in this collection.
Michael McGrinder
The poetry is fine but as much as I want to, I can't really relate to it. I think I like the "idea" of Gary Snyder more than I like his work. Am I being unfair?
Oct 21, 2016 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Gary Snyder has always inspired conflicting emotions in me. I love his story often more than his poems. This Present Moment succeeds precisely because the story is in the poems without overwhelming the art of the poem. A brilliant work by a veteran master.
Jan 30, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it
My favorite poem of this text would be Stories in the Night. It is the one I have read and reread, over and over. I identify with the generator that does not work, the comfort in making tea, the salvation of the 3/4 inch crushed rock delivery in late winter, and traveling through Kyushu. And then the Buddhist author hits me with "I could never be a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew because the Ten Commandments fall short of moral rigor." And "that other thing, can't have 'no other god before me' -- ...more
Feb 01, 2016 Mollie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This Gary Snyder collection was truly amazing. It was a wonderful book to read when in deep thought or wanting to evoke emotion. There were many poems which I favored. Overall, the best line in the whole collection is "This present moment that lives on to become long ago." That line really stuck with me. We do not typically think about our day to day activities becoming something we will look back upon. Wildfire News was also a fun favorite. I kept this book beside my bed and would read a few ...more
Sep 07, 2016 Terri rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2016
Lovely collection of Snyder's current work including a heartbreaking poem following the death of his wife. He remains a powerful voice for wild places, spiritual searching, and physical labor.
Benjamin Vineyard
Sep 01, 2016 Benjamin Vineyard rated it really liked it
I read Snyder's poem like I wanted to get to know him, a friend of a friend. Well, the friend of a man I read, Wendell Berry.

Berry and Snyder wrote letters to each other and someone made a book of them, which I read. In wanting to know this friend of a friend, I library-loaned a copy of this book.

This Present Moment left me looking off the page, staring into the middle distance more than once. But on occasion, I just didn't connect and the poetic flow, and really, his genius self in the words,
Feb 16, 2016 Anita rated it it was amazing
Gary Snyder is not a die-hard novelist, but a poet that truly writes what he experiences, not just sees. If he was walking through the woods or driving along a highway, he will take you there in as little as five words.

As a writer you either have two options to writing out your work: you either research what you are writing about or you experience it and write that out.
Snyder has mastered the latter and does the first point occasionally. He really makes you reflect to go out and experience the
Alan Lengel
Jun 21, 2016 Alan Lengel rated it it was amazing
It's good to be reading Gary Snyder again; we have a similar regard for impermanence and non-self.
The present moment is the essence of meditation and Taijiquan: watching the breath and movement.
However, his "Go Now" is a disappointment for me. He warns the reader away suggesting strongly that one couldn't handle the darkness (How his wife descends into death and the decline of her physical features). The principle of compassion allows a true approach to our shared experiences.
Gary, I've been the
Patti K
Dec 07, 2015 Patti K rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A new collection of poems written in the past ten years
or so. Fun to read Snyder again. His simple diction and
bare bones telling of life is refreshing. He focuses on
what is happening now in all its variety and mood: mostly
on working, dailiness, hiking, and friends. With a dash
of Buddhism thrown in.
Oct 23, 2015 Liam rated it it was amazing
At first I was struck by how male sounding is the language of the first several poems. Almost deadpan. About machines and hunting and guy stuff. I liked it a lot. Then different themes appeared death, life, love, sex, nature all the matter of poetry. Very elemental and Bhuddist like. I would like to read more from Gary Snyder.
Apr 25, 2015 Carolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, adult
"Go Now" is a beautifully heartrending elegy and really is what made the book for me. That poem I would give five stars.

"The Shrine at Delphi" had a nice romantic memory.

"A Letter to MA..." was sweet and made me smile.

"The Earth's Wild Places" was awesome.

The rest of it just really wasn't my thing. But it might be yours?
Nov 13, 2015 Janet rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Especially "The Earth's Wild Places"


"This present moment
That lives on

To become

Long ago."
Nov 08, 2015 Leonard rated it it was amazing
This is another very fine collection of poetry by Snyder, the kind of book that, as soon as you finish it, you want to start reading it again.
David rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2015
Ryan rated it really liked it
Dec 12, 2015
Patrick Frey
Patrick Frey rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2015
Kenneth Cook
Kenneth Cook rated it liked it
Nov 18, 2015
Christopher D. Stanton
Christopher D. Stanton rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2015
Robert C.
Robert C. rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2015
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Gary Snyder is an American poet (originally, often associated with the Beat Generation), essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist. Snyder is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Since the 1970s, he has frequently been described as the 'laureate of Deep Ecology'. From the 1950s on, he has published travel-journals and essays from time to time. His work in his various roles reflects his ...more
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