The Beat Poets
Gary Snyder on Ecology and Poetry - part 1
There were others but the work of Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg are the ones I recall the clearest. I have read Kerouac’s On the Road , at least 4 times, once more than another cultural icon Robert Pirsig’s Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Burrough’s Naked Lunch and Junky once read will remain deep in the sub-conscious.
This hub is dedicated to the poets, to Gary Snyder who has lent his words and his actions to Nature and who has inspired environmentalists for generations past and will continue to inspire them for generations yet to come.
Smokey The Bear Sutra awakens a call for justice and Snyder has said that this poem may be distributed free forever.
Allan Ginsberg’s Howl echoes through the generations, I can see the words of this masterpiece’s opening lines echo in my mind; I was a child of the fifties, who came of age in the sixties.
Perhaps, after Howl my favourite piece is Sunflower Sutra possibly because I admire sunflower and perhaps because of the feelings that arise when I read it.
By Bob Ewing
Giant yellow head greets the rising sun.
Another morning wakes, night’s dreams are undone.
Faint memories linger as I rush out the door.
The wisps dissolve, as I greet my old friend.
Birds sing sweetly and the butterflies glide.
Eight foot stalk faces east, straight and proud.
Alone in the corner,
Along the back fence, patiently waiting to follow the sun.
I have never considered myself a poet and have not tried to write a poem for a number of years; however, it is never to late to sit before a keyboard and clear the mind, to find the words; some of which will rhyme; that express what is sitting deep in your heart and the day’s that have passed as your Life was spent.
Snyder and Ginsberg wrote form where they were; what they saw, felt and believed. This is true of all poets and is what makes their works endure for the messages they wove into their words remain as vibrant today as they were when first put to paper.
Is the Beat Generation relevant today? Or is it now out-of-sync with the fast paced, digital environment that embraces us all 24/7? My sense is that, perhaps, they are needed even more now, if for no other reason than to open our mind to the possibilities that wait for us to reach out and dare; to see the world through a different pair of eyes; to awaken to our true being and shrug off the cloak that others have draped around our shoulders. A cloak to which, too many, desperately cling.