Gary Snyder - Mountains And Rivers Without End

The Beat Generation's zen poet, Gary Snyder in discussion with Michael Krasny on KQED's Forum.  They talk about the latest release of his epic poem Mountains and Rivers Without End as well other topics including ecology, zen, native american mythology, and man's relationship with nature.


Gary Snyder was the real life person behind the character, Japhy Ryder,  in Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel, The Dharma Bums.  In the book there is a passage that not only reveals Snyder's intent to write his opus poem, Mountains and Rivers Without End, but inspired Systems Mural Project.


"I'll do a new long poem called "Rivers and Mountains Without End". And just write it on and on, on a scroll, and unfold on and on with new surprises and always what went before forgotten. See, like a river or like one of them real long Chinese silk paintings that shows two little men hiking in an endless landscape of gnarled old trees and mountains so high they merge with the fog in the upper silk void. I'll spend three thousand years writing it. It'll be packed full of information on soil conservation, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Astronomy, Geology, Chuang Tzu's travels, Chinese painting theory, reforestation, oceanic ecology, and food chains."

-Japhy Ryder from Jack Kerouac's THE DHARMA BUMS