How Poetry Comes to Him: An Excursion to Gary Snyder’s Wild Poetics

  • Thomas Pughe


Snyder’s poem “How Poetry Comes to Me” (1992) dramatizes poetic inspiration as a visitation of something wild. Poetic creation is an encounter with wildness in a natural environment. Such scenes must be discovered on foot; the physical connection with nature precedes inspiration. I read the poem as a myth of origins, distinguishing three levels on which walking is significant. First, as an enabling anecdote; second, as an allegory of poetic inspiration; and third, as a physical code that communicates between the natural world and poetic shaping. These three levels structure my readings. I limit myself to poems written between the mid-1950s and the end of the century and evoking rambles in northern California.


Environmental Justice Trunk Body Deep Ecology Physical Code Liminal Space 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Pughe
    • 1
  1. 1.Université d’OrléansOrléansFrance

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