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Get A Copy. Paperback , 80 pages. Published December 1st by Counterpoint first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4.
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They comprise, however, only about a third of this collection. The remainder—of the less than sixty pages here—do not sing, or do not sing much. They are either awkward and derivative, or cautious and academic. Lets deal with the inferior stuff first. These poems are propped up by secondhand myth and rhetoric, the sort of thing Snyder elsewhere avoids. I am convinced the poet learned much from completing this exercise, but something—either the moral burden of crafting a faithful translation or the practical constraints of his Berkeley seminar—prevented Snyder from producing the great work of translation he was capable of.
Which leaves us with the beauty part, the eighteen pages of poetry in Raprap that—I believe—will live in the American spirit for a long time. In , after a year of graduate work in Oriental languages, the year-old Gary Snyder took a summer job as a trail crew laborer in Yosemite National Park: They soon had me working in the upper reaches of the Piute Creek drainage, a land of smooth white granite … the visible memory of the ice age.
The bedrock is so brilliant that it shines back at the crystal night stars. Snyder became friends with Ginsberg and Kerouac, two city kids who found this mountain-climbing country boy poet to be both mythic and romantic. Snyder soon became a Beat legend, but the poems themselves still possess a purity that shines, apart from all that. At a cold fried trout in the Trembling shadows. I spied A glitter, and found a flake Black volcanic glass—obsidian— By a flower.
Hands and knees Pushing the Bear grass, thousands Of arrowhead leavings over a Hundred yards. Not one good Head, just razor flakes On a hill snowed all but summer, A land of fat summer deer, They came to camp. On their Own trails. I followed my own Trail here. Picked up the cold-drill, Pick, singlejack, and sack Of dynamite. Ten thousand years. With his big truckload of hay behind the barn. With winch and ropes and hooks We stacked the bales up clean To splintery redwood rafters High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa Whirling through shingle-cracks of light, Itch of hay dust in the sweaty shirt and shoes.
I though, that day I started, I sure would hate to do this all my life. Apr 01, Jessaka rated it liked it Shelves: poetry.
I have owned this book for awhile, and just picked it up again because I have been reading poems by Cold Mountain Han-Shan and wanted to see other translations. Gary Snyder has translated only 24 of them, but that was enough for Han-Shan to become popularized in the U. Gary Snyder enrolled at U. Berkeley back in , and one of his professors, Chen Shih-hsiang, encouraged them to translate them because he felt that Snyder may have an affinity with them.
And that he did. I read the Riprap I have owned this book for awhile, and just picked it up again because I have been reading poems by Cold Mountain Han-Shan and wanted to see other translations.
I read the Riprap poems in his book, but I didn't care for them. I have always found beat poetry to be too obscure. But since finding that he has written a Pulitzer Prize winning book, "Turtle Island," I must read it and see how I feel afterwards. In summer, ice doesn't melt The rising sun blurs in swirling fog. How did I make it? My heart's not the same as yours.
If your heart was like mine You'd get it and be right here. Now here is Red Pine's rendition: People ask the way to Cold Mountain but roads don't reach Cold Mountain In Summer the ice doesn't melt and the morning fog is too dense how did someone like me arrive our minds are not the same if they were you would be here.
And here is Wandering Poet's translation: People ask the way to Cold Mountain Roads do not go through Summer arrives yet the ice has not melted Though the sun is out it's foggy and dim How did I arrive here? My mind and yours are not the same When our minds are one You will be here too. Middle of the summer, and the ice still hasn't melted. Sunrise and the mist would blind a hidden dragon. So, how could a man like me get here? My heart is not the same as yours, dear sir If your heart were like mine, you'd be here already.
There is no road that goes through. Even in summer the ice doesn't melt; Though the sun comes out, the fog is blinding. How can you hope to get there by aping me? Your heart and mine are not alike. If your heart were the same as mind, Then you could journey to the very center! Here is what I call the "bare bones" of this poem, a direct translation of the Chinese: I love mountain Not people know White cloud middle Always peace As for other poems in this book that were not Cold Mountain's, well, they are beat, they are hard to understand, but sometimes they actually do make sense.
Here's one that does and doesn't, but in reading it again, it actually does make sense: In a quiet dusty corner on the north porch Some farmers eating lunch on the steps. Up high behind a beam: a small carved wood panel Of leaves, twisting tree trunk, Ivy, and a sleek fine-haired Doe a six-point Buck in front Head crooked back, watching her. Note: Dates different books were written: gary snyder, burton watson red pine wandering poet, seaton Much less meaningful than Turtle Island. The "Riprap" half of the book, written when the young poet worked as a logger and did trail maintenance at Yosemite National Park, was good, as advertised.
The "Cold Mountain Poems" second half, consisting of translations of centuries-old Chinese Zen poems, left me unmoved. Down valley a smoke haze Three days heat, after five days rain Pitch glows on the fir-cones Across rocks and meadows Swarms of new flies.
I cannot remember things I once read A few friends, but they are in cities. Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup Looking down for miles Through high still air. It creaked. The white air under Sprang away, long cracks Shot out in the black, My cleated mountain boots Slipped on the hard slick - like thin ice - then sudden Feel of an old phrase made real - Instand of frozen leaf, Icewater, and staff in hand. The plum Buds tight and chill soon bloom. The moon begins first Fourth, a faint slice west At nightfall.
Jupiter half-way High at the end of night- Meditation. The dove cry Twangs like a bow. At dwan Mt. Hiei dusted white On top; in the clear air Folds of all the gullied green Hills around the town are sharp, Breath stings. Beneath the roofs Of frosty houses Lovers part, from tangle warm Of gentle bodies under quilt And crack the icy water of the face And wake and feed the children And grandchildren that they love.
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Pages How much the bus cost. How much the movie was, or how much the hotel was. No purpose? Listening to Gufu it occurs to me that it may not be so good to be always reaching ahead in time. Sitting here with my friend in a farmhouse in the mountains of Japan, I find my way of seeing the world start to deepen and change. All these little, unlooked-at details create the fabric of memory.
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