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Riprap; And, Cold Mountain Poems Paperback – September, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 67 pages
  • Publisher: North Point Press (September 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865474567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865474567
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,536,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"As early as the 1950s, before ecology became a household word, Snyder understood things about our civilization and economy that no one else was talking about, and he wrote about them with great authority and a sinewy line." -- Richard Tillinghast, The Nation

"His greatest strength-a quiet and profound elegance, an ability to write a simple phrase that seems to have been echoing through human consciousness for three or four thousand years." -- Lewis MacAdams, California Magazine

"Long ago staked his claim as one of America's finest poets...[An] unswerving integrity [is] present throughout the development of Snyder's poetic sensibility." -- Boston Herald

"The master of lucid meditation." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"This poet's great gift has always been perfect visual clarity... and, needless to say, derives from Snyder's vision in the larger sense." -- Paul Berman, The Village Voice

Cold Mountain Poems: 1
Cold Mountain Poems: 10
Cold Mountain Poems: 11
Cold Mountain Poems: 12
Cold Mountain Poems: 13
Cold Mountain Poems: 14
Cold Mountain Poems: 15
Cold Mountain Poems: 16
Cold Mountain Poems: 17
Cold Mountain Poems: 18
Cold Mountain Poems: 19
Cold Mountain Poems: 2
Cold Mountain Poems: 20
Cold Mountain Poems: 21
Cold Mountain Poems: 22
Cold Mountain Poems: 23
Cold Mountain Poems: 24
Cold Mountain Poems: 3
Cold Mountain Poems: 4
Cold Mountain Poems: 5
Cold Mountain Poems: 6
Cold Mountain Poems: 7
Cold Mountain Poems: 8
Cold Mountain Poems: 9
Above Pate Valley
All Through The Rains
At Five A.m. Off The North Coast Of Sumatra
Cartagena
For A Far-out Friend
Goofing Again
Hay For The Horses
Higashi Hongwanji
Kyoto: March
The Late Snow & Lumber Strike Of The Summer Of Fifty-four
Mid-august At Sourdough Mountain Lookout
Migration Of Birds
Milton By Firelight
Nooksack Valley
Piute Creek
Praise For Sick Women
Riprap
The Sappa Creek
A Stone Garden
T-2 Tanker Blues
Thin Ice
Toji
Water
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

About the Author

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder is the author of many volumes of poetry and essays, including Left Out in the Rain, Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems, Mountains and Rivers without End, and The Practice of the Wild. He teaches literature and wilderness thought at the University of California at Davis and lives with his family on the San Juan Ridge in the Sierra foothills.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Both flutes will get you "there."
eurydike
This is particualrly valuable when reading his idiomatic "Rip Rap" material.
Erik C. Pihl
Snyder translated them himself and a great job he did.
robert p.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 57 people found the following review helpful By tepi on June 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Amidst the poetry of the Sixties, Gary Snyder's early poems stood out as something very special, and are still very special. In contrast to the obscure and convoluted writings of an assortment of neurasthenic, super-sophisticated, and compulsive scribblers, types so totally and utterly wrapped up in themselves that they completely overlooked that insignificant thing hovering outside their window (ordinary folks call it the universe), and whose work goes unread because it is largely unreadable, Snyder's work came as a revelation.
Here was a poet who was very, very different - a poet who, far from being totally wrapped up in himself, was instead wrapped up in the universe. He appeals to us because, being himself wholly in touch with reality, he helps us get back in touch with reality ourselves. Ego is put firmly in its place, opening up a space in which the myriad things can come forward and announce themselves.
The secret of how Snyder was able to do this, of how he was able to bring us, not yet another of those obscure, tortured and anguished sensibilities who were and still are so thick on the ground, but who brought instead a sane and wholesome vision of the world, is all there in the very first poem of RIPRAP, 'Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout' :
"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" (p.9).
Where did Snyder learn how to do this? The answer is that it could only have been in China.
Read more ›
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book passes the test of time because of its taut poetry and insight into the link between Sndyer's environment in the Pacific Northwest and his inner landscape. The second part of the book is priceless. Snyder's Zen practice and skill as a writer and linguist make him eminently qualified to translate the words of the reclusive poet Han-Shan, whose poems ring true today. I have read other translations of Han-Shan but Snyder's is the best. Its paradoxes move us in our modern times just as they must have in early China.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 1995
Format: Paperback
Riprap lets us see the world with Snyder's vision back in
the days when Kerouac was writing about him in the Dharma
Bums. The clarity, straightforward diction, and simple
lyricism that have continued to characterize his poetry are
all here in these early poems from the fifties. Astounding
visual quality. Life in the mountains, in Japan, on the
high seas.

Cold Mountain Poems are translations of Han Shan, Chinese
Zen poet. Han Shan stands with John of the Cross in his
ability to illuminate the spiritual path through lyric
imagery. Snyder's crystalline translations reveal Han
Shan to us face to face, today, not some old exotic hermit
but a vital presence.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By eurydike on June 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
The great thing about Cold Mountain is that he is transparent to translators. Arguing the merits of one Cold Mountain translation against another is like comparing a Gudo Ishibashi 2.8 shakuhachi to a 2.9 Mujitsu shakuhachi by Ken LaCosse. Both flutes will get you "there." But the journey will be different.

The same is true of Cold Mountain. Snyder is as good as Watson is a good as Red Pine is as good as Henricks.

Or like Dogen translations...

why sink a straw that floats on the water, when the moon itself rides in ripples beside the straw?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alfred Johnson on February 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As circumstances would have it I recently have been going through a reading, or in most cases a re-reading, of many of the classics of the 1950's "beat" literary scene as a result of getting caught up in marking the 40th anniversary of the death of Jack Kerouac. Thus, I have re-read Kerouac's classic "On The Road", Allen Ginsberg's great modernist poem, "Howl", and the madman of them all, William Burroughs' "Naked Lunch". And along the way, after a 40 year hiatus, Kerouac's "Dharma Bums".

That is where the connection to this recent release of poetry by one of the key West Coast figures in the "beat' movement, Gary Snyder and an early American devotee to Zen Buddhism , comes in full force. "Dharma Bums" is a novelistic treatment about Jack Kerouac's bout with Zen enlightenment, with Buddha and with his own inner demons. And central to guiding old Jack through the Zen experience was the aficionado, Gary Snyder, posing under the name Japhy Ryder. I noted in a review of that novel that while I could appreciate the struggle to find one's inner self that dominated that novel I was more in tune with Dean Moriarty's more adrenaline- formed material world adventure quest than Ryder's.

That characterization, however, never encapsulated Gary Snyder's poetry that, while not as to my liking as Allen Ginsberg's rants against the post-industrial world , nevertheless was superior to his when comparisons between their poetic understanding of Buddhism were in play. Snyder was, and I presume off of the reading here still is, serious about the Zen of existence. Ginsberg was all over the place, and I think what really influenced came from the cabalistic tradition in Jewish life, despite his very OM-saturated period in the 1960s. Read the "Han Shan" poems in this collection first, and then Snyder's and you will see what I mean.
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