Old Woman Nature

By Gary Snyder b. 1930 Gary Snyder
Old Woman Nature
naturally has a bag of bones
                tucked away somewhere.
                a whole room full of bones!

A scattering of hair and cartilage
               bits in the woods.

A fox scat with hair and a tooth in it.
               a shellmound
                      a bone flake in a streambank.

A purring cat, crunching
               the mouse head first,
                       eating on down toward the tail--
 
The sweet old woman
               calmly gathering firewood in the
               moon . . .

Don't be shocked,
She's heating you some soup.
 
                            VII, '81, Seeing Ichikawa Ennosuke in
                      "Kurozuka"—"Demoness"— at the Kabuki-za
                                                       in Tokyo

Gary Snyder, "Old Woman Nature" from Axe Handles. Copyright © 1983 by Gary Snyder.  Reprinted by permission of Counterpoint Press.

Source: Axe Handles (North Point Press, 1983)

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Poet Gary Snyder b. 1930

Subjects Relationships, Men & Women, Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 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 . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Men & Women, Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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