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Danger on Peaks: Poems Paperback – September 9, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Shoemaker & Hoard; 1st edition (September 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593760809
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593760809
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,339,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his first gathering of new poetry since the 1996 book-length poem Mountains and Rivers Without End, Snyder seeks a kind of fraught peace, which he cannot sustain; the book begins and ends in upheaval. A mostly prose sequence recalls the recent history of Mount Saint Helens, the Washington State volcano whose eruption in 1980 has been recently (and for now, more softly) reprised. Snyder's speaker remembers climbing it decades ago and sees how flora and fauna are already returning there now: "Who wouldn't take the chance to climb a snowpeak and get the long view?" Landscape, geology, botany and ecology; the poet's Buddhist outlook and its consequences for ethics, and the small pleasures of daily existence, inform the understated, short poems making up most of the volume. Snyder excels in adapting Japanese forms, such as haibun, to American usage. Many of his short poems recall the people—friends, lovers, a daughter—for whom Snyder cares or has cared, an attractive surprise in a poet known more for his rapport with nonhuman nature. Last come five short poems prompted by world events, including the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in spring 2001 and the terrorist attacks later that year: Snyder reminds us that humans are animals too, "beings, living or not," "inside or outside of time."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Snyder's first all-new collection since Axe Handles (1983) takes its title from the last line of a little poem about first seeing Carole, now his wife. It reveals one appetite flaring, ever so subtly, in the mundane precincts of another: he's dishing out a meal, she's receiving it, and he glimpses "her lithe leg," obviously "trained by . . . danger on peaks." This sort of thing happens all the time, of course, but how often is it this well captured? In these poems of his sixties and early seventies, Snyder often works such magic, in poems as compact as those of the Japanese masters he has long studied and in prose-and-verse pieces as crystalline as those in the famous travel books of Basho. From the opening prose-and-verse section on several climbs of Mount St. Helens, through short poems of observation and longer ones on daily life, to more prose-and-verse pieces on journeys near and far, Snyder seems more accepting than ever before. His 1960s eco-Marxist scolding is gone, and he's the wiser for it. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Snyder's poetry is accessible, enjoyable, and really adds value to daily life.
skye
Recognition includes the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and finalist for National Book Award in 1992.
P. Biery
The best, in my opinion, is a toss-up between "Atomic Dawn" and "One Thousand Cranes".
Robert Blue

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Steve Dossey on January 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gary Snyder is America's greatest living poet.his keen, ever perfectly clear vison is based in the glint of rivers and the muted sheen of glistening rocks under jasmine colored waves, bountiful white clouds and spirit incandescent and meteoric.... He writes of concrete on highway 5, Toyota Tercels, and the animistic world of noble pines and bobcat scat..His Haikus are the best ever written...his narrative before certain poems is articulate, revealing and deep without any pretension...For instance: "If you want to view the world you live in climb a rocky mountain with a neat small peak. But the big snow peaks pierce the world of clouds and cranes, rest in the zone of five colored banners and writhing crackling dragons in veils of ragged mist and frost crystals, into a pure transparancy of blue." He knows the "Three Sisters". He has climbed into their deeper essence. He writes of today and of humanity, daily life, of commitment and courage and eating at fast food places...I have long admired his work and this is as good as Axe Handles and Regarding Wave...I have lived in the Pacific Northwest in my younger days..He almost alone, awakened me to its noble grandeaur....One of America's finest poets ever...
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd Kahn on December 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've ever enjoyed ANY of Gary Snyder's poetry, then get Danger on Peaks. His first collection of new poems in 20 years, it's elegant and beautiful and meaningful and musical. I read a favorable review of this book in the NY Times, but wasn't prepared for how good it really was. I've been reading it in bed at night, just opening it here and there, and it's a delight. Language has been honed down to essentials-the poet's craft is being mastered here. The poems are tight and taut and finely-crafted-distilled to their essence. What really resonates with me are his experiences in the outdoors, many of the same things I feel but never articulate: trees, mountains, creeks, bobcats, sunsets- awe at the wonders of our planet. But that's just one level of the things going on in this book. It's also a summing-up of 60 years of Gary's life so far, so it's written in variety of styles. This is a wonderful little book. Published by Shoemaker Hoard.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Blue on April 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This collection of poetry is exactly what every collection should be: intelligent, well written, and entertaining. Every poem is carefully crafted by Snyder and can evoke a wide range of emotions that many modern poets miss out on. The only possibly downside (a tiny one) is that many of these poems are very close to being prose. A very good read on a wide variety of subjects. The best, in my opinion, is a toss-up between "Atomic Dawn" and "One Thousand Cranes".
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Booknut on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you've never read Gary Snyder's poetry, this is a fabulous starting point; if you have, you'll be amazed at the depth and personal nature of many of these poems. Synder has deserved a bigger audience for such a long time, and this is the book that I hope will gain him wider acclaim. Highly recommended.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Danger On Peaks is Gary Synder's first collection of new poems in twenty years and begins with poems about his first ascent of Mt. St. Helens in 1945. Offering a body of verse in a diversity of styles, Synder's work was a 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and showcases a unique voice in contemporary American poetry. She Knew All About Art: She knew all about art -- she was fragrant, soft,/I rode to her fine stone apartment, hid the bike in the hedge./--We met at an opening, her lover was brilliant and rich,/first we would talk, then drift into long gentle love,/We always made love in the dark. Thirty years older than me.
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