|Quote by Gary Snyder.|
It was Jack Kerouac’s birthday today. Jack was born on March 12th, 1922 which means that if he hadn’t drunk himself to death in 1969, he would have been 98 today. I would have forgotten about his birthday if I hadn’t been reminded of it by a Facebook friend. Purely by chance I had a Jack related parcel arrive today. It contained two books by Gary Snyder. They are called The Back Country and Earth House Hold. They are American books, published by New Directions in 1969. One book is poetry and the other is prose. I got both books for a total of 99 pence on eBay. That is what I call a bargain.
Gary Snyder was the real-life person who was portrayed as Japhy Ryder the hero of Jack’s second most famous book The Dharma Bums. He was born on May 8, 1930 which means he will soon be 90 years of age. Although best known as a poet associated with the Beat Generation and the San Francisco Renaissance, he is also an essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist. He has been described as the ‘poet laureate of Deep Ecology’ Snyder is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award. His work, in his various roles, reflects an immersion in both Buddhist spirituality and nature. Snyder has translated literature into English from ancient Chinese and modern Japanese and was an academic at the University of California. ( I found a lot of that info on Wiki.)
I’m looking forward to reading both these books before I sell them. I have always liked Gary Snyder, ever since reading the Dharma Bums about 45 years ago. He didn’t have the self-destructive side to his nature like Jack and other people associated with the Beats and he practiced what he preached. With his interest in ecology and being aware of the need for humans to live in tune with nature he was decades ahead of other writers. I bet Greta Thunberg would have got on well with Gary.
Talking about being in tune with nature, I have been doing a bit of gardening in between rain showers. Just tidying up mainly. I’m still planning to get out walking soon if the weather cheers up a bit. I’m on day 8 of my yoga as well. This week I have been following the horse racing at Cheltenham, but I haven’t picked a winner yet. It’s the final day tomorrow with the Gold Cup as the big race. I’ll let you know how I get on.