Contemporary Rec: Danger on Peaks by Gary Snyder

I'll quit trying to beat around the bush. Barring any sudden decline in quality in the latter portion of the novel, I will be writing about "My Sister, My Love" by Joyce Carol Oates. The book is far more difficult to read than I expected because of the tone and subject matter. It's aggressive and upsetting but so wonderfully written I don't want to stop reading. I just need more breaks from the book than I've ever required before. I can't even guarantee I'll be finished by next week, to be honest. Contemporary Rec: Danger on Peaks by Gary Snyder Yes. A poetry collection. Click away now if you must. I can wait. --- Gary Snyder's 2004 collection Danger on Peaks is one of the most beautiful poetry collections I've ever experienced. The integration of the natural world with the emotional world is masterful, to say the least. The biggest draw of the collection is the series of poems about Snyder's experience as a ranger/guide near Mt. St. Helens when the atomic bombs were dropped during WWII. The rest of the collection follows in an effort to reconcile the natural world with the material world, with Snyder returning to the natural world for answers even when it seems there can't be one. The difficulty of the collection is Snyder's distinctive style. There are moments in the collection that read like modernist prose - lengthy paragraphs of short sentences, with no separation between dialogue and exposition. These passages contain many significant poetic elements that don't appear elsewhere in the book. Likewise, the clearly (visually) poetic segments can be comprised of grammatically proper sentences with every form of punctuation imaginable. Snyder flips visual expectations to get at a deeper meaning. Give the collection a try if you like poetry and haven't already.

Labels: contemporary rec