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No Nature: New and Selected Poems Paperback – September 7, 1993


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No Nature: New and Selected Poems + The Portable Beat Reader (Penguin Classics) + The Dharma Bums
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; Reprint edition (September 7, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679742522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679742524
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This first selected edition of Snyder's poetry offers an overview of a career spanning more than 30 years, from his emergence as a poet of the Beat Generation to his eventual focus on nature and environmentalism.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

No nature is "a magnificent selection of the best of Snyder's career" (LJ 9/1/92), still going strong with the recent Mountains and Rivers Without End.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
I first heard of Gary Snyder when I stumbled across his answer to the question as to whether he would rather hear a poem by a raccoon or a possum. Snyder's answer was: "A raccoon's poem is alert and inquisitive, and amazes you by what a mess it makes. A possum's poem seems sort of slow and dumb at first, but then it rolls over. When you get close to it, it spits in your eye." I am not sure there is a clear cut answer there, but then Snyder, who received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1975 for "Turtle Island," was first identified with the Beat movement before becoming an important spokesperson for communal living and ecological activism, so expecting him to choose between animal poems is probably a tad ambitious.
Snyder's poetry embodies the open-form experimentation of Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg and the Beats, as well as various "naked poetry" schools and movements from the 1960s to the present. He has also been strongly influenced at times by Japanese haikus and has listed among his influential/favorite poets Du Fu, Lorca, Basho, Pound, Yeats, Buson, Bai Ju-yi, Li He, Su Shih, Homer, Mira Bhai, and Kalidasa. Called by many a "Zen poet," Snyder's work is as likely to display a sense of humor as it is to deal with theological and aesthetic elements drawn from Zen and classical Japanese culture (e.g, "Axe Handles"). Snyder's earliest poems deal with the images and experiences he had working as a logger and ranger in the Pacific Northwest, which obviously instilled in him a love for not only nature but that which is ancient and mystical (e.g, "For All").
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Theodore E. Kim on December 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gary Snyder is a master of condensation. Somehow, using an economy of words, he conveys a clear sense of "the moment" -- sitting on a mountain top; snuggling by the fire; walking on a crowded street. It's a new kind of minimalist poetry that, once read, makes some of the older stuff seem, well, old. Snyder's forte is poems about nature. One of my favorites, called "Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout" consists of just 10 lines. But I've read it a hundred times, and the words still ring true in my mind. He writes: "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." "On Nature" is a collection of Snyder's best and most important works. I highly recommend it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
John Berryman said that the art of poetry was that of developing a personality in words. Gary Snyder is one of the most recognizable and fascinating poetic personalities of our time. Even when he is absent, he is present -- the details he chooses to focus on, the way of perceiving embodied by the poems, tell us as much about his mind ("a mind like compost," as he writes) as any work by the so-called "confessional" poets; but rather than concentrate on tawdry details and domestic crises, Snyder is more interested in the possibilities of mindfulness, the various ways of living well in the world, of carrying out "the real work". Constantly preoccupied, even obsessed, with questions of what to keep and what to throw out, where to withdraw and where to stand firm (see "Front Lines"), Snyder is engaged in the perpetual task of literature: to save what is worth saving, to make it fresh and pass it along. And his ability to find just the right rhythms and words for every situation, sensation or idea is remarkable. I admire him greatly and am grateful for his work.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 1997
Format: Paperback
if we needed anymore evidence that North Armerica should have Living Treasures much as Japan and China do, i have yet to see it! no nature is the best intro to Snyder's work there is..
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robin Miller on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you have any love for wild places and the beauty of small things compassionately observed, this is a lovely and moving collection of poetry.

I was introduced to Snyder with this book back when taking IB English in high school over a decade ago, and despite not having appreciated poetry very much until then, I immediately felt a connection with his beautiful, sparse style and gift of observation. He never says too much - just enough.

It's still the book of poetry that I most often pick up, and I think the only book from that time that has accompanied me whenever I've moved (cities, countries) since then.
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