vrijdag 5 juli 2013

A foraging poem by Gary Snyder + commentary

Here is a poem by Gary Snyder from his book Turtle Island (1975).
In June two oak fell,
rot in the roots

Chainsaw in September
in three days one tree
bucked and quartered in the shed

sour fresh inner oak-wood smell
the main trunk splits
"like opening a book" (J. Tecklin)

And slightly humping oak leaves
deer muzzle and kick it,
one sort, Alice Eastwood
pink and poison; 
Two yellow, edulus
"edible and choice."
only I got just so slightly sick --
Taste all, and hand the knowledge down.


* The entire poem is an allusion to Ezra Pound's "The flavors of the peach and the apricot are not lost from generation to generation. Neither are they transmitted by book learning."

* Quoting Snyder from the same volume: "Know the flowers.

* Know the flowers, by what name? And which system?

* Can there exist a botany without books & book learning?   

* Foragers only trust other foragers who have tried things for themselves. Who know the where and the what and the how of plants.

* All foragers all moralists.

* All botany is ethnobotany / all botany is culture. 

* Find your own flavours and hand them down to the next generation.

* "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

1 opmerking:

  1. Too see the World in a grain of sand
    And Heaven in a Wild Flower
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    And Eternity in an hour

    William Blake