Archival Features, Poems

Gary Snyder: “January”

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January

from Six Years

the pine tree is perfect

Walking in the snowhills the trail goes just right
Eat snow off pine needles
the city’s not so big, the
hills surround it.
Hieizan wrapped in his own cloud—
Back there no big houses, only a little farm shack
crows cawing back and forth
over the valley of grass-bamboo
and small pine.

If I had a peaceful heart it would look like this,
The train down in the city

was once a snowy hill

This poem was published originally, with two others, in the Winter 1965-66 issue of Poetry Northwest.

The author’s bio from that issue—written by Carolyn Kizer—reads: Gary Snyder is presently living in Kyoto—happy man!—whence he forwarded these three poems to us. This is the first opportunity we have had to publish Mr. Snyder’s lucent work.