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The Beat Poets

Updated on January 19, 2011


Gary Snyder on Ecology and Poetry - part 1


courtesy beingthere/flickr
courtesy beingthere/flickr


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.

Sunflower Morning

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.


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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by, namaste.

  • bkuzemka profile image

    bkuzemka 8 years ago

    i loved reading gary snyder's name in this hub - too often forgotten. great article. peace bob.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    That is a surprise. :-) i started re-reading Naked Lunch the other day. thanks for dropping by

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    I love the Beats. Never did meet any of them. I went through a phase when I read all of Burroughs. Surprisingly, I'm still a relatively sane person :) I reprinted Sunflower Sutra on my blog last week...

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    meeting Ginsberg would be an experience, Patty, i do not know but will see what i can find out.

  • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

    Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

    Is the original On the Road manuscript still touring the country, or is it in a museum now?

  • vreccc profile image

    vreccc 9 years ago from Concord, NH


    I met Allen Ginsberg in 1994. He came to my university when I was an undergrad at the U of NC at Asheville. It was a very exciting experience. I even got to meet him and he signed a book of his work for me, which I can't find now. I must say however that he was quite eccentric. He was very concerned about censorship.

    Nice hub!