A Maul for Bill and Cindy’s Wedding

By Gary Snyder b. 1930 Gary Snyder
Swung from the toes out,
Belly-breath riding on the knuckles,   
The ten-pound maul lifts up,
Sails in an arc overhead,
And then lifts you!

It floats, you float,
For an instant of clear far sight—
Eye on the crack in the end-grain   
Angle of the oak round
Stood up to wait to be split.

The maul falls—with a sigh—the wood   
Claps apart
                and lies twain—
In a wink. As the maul
Splits all, may

You two stay together.

“A Maul for Bill and Cindy’s Wedding” from Axe Handles copyright © 1983 by Gary Snyder. Used by permission of Counterpoint Press.

Source: Axe Handles (1983)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Gary Snyder b. 1930

Subjects Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Living, Love, Jobs & Working, Activities, Realistic & Complicated

Occasions Weddings

Holidays Valentine's Day

Poetic Terms Metaphor

 Gary  Snyder

Biography

Gary Snyder began his career in the 1950s as a noted member of the “Beat Generation,” though he has since explored a wide range of social and spiritual matters in both poetry and prose. Snyder’s work blends physical reality and precise observations of nature with inner insight received primarily through the practice of Zen Buddhism. While Snyder has gained attention as a spokesman for the preservation of the natural world and . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Living, Love, Jobs & Working, Activities, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Metaphor

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.