A spring night in Shokoku-jiEight years ago this May
We walked under cherry blossoms
At night in an orchard in Oregon.
All that I wanted then
Is forgotten now, but you.
Here in the night
In a garden of the old capital
I feel the trembling ghost of Yugao
I remember your cool body
Naked under a summer cotton dress.Gary Snyder
Allen Ginsberg - Father Death Blues
For those interested in all things Beat, a little something to brighten up a day: The Selected Letters of Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg, as reviewed by Jeff Baker at The Oregonian.
Here's the publisher Counterpoint's blurb:
One of the central relationships in the Beat scene was the long-lasting friendship of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder. Ginsberg ventured west in 1956 and was introduced to Snyder by Kenneth Rexroth, a mentor to the Beats and the man who knew everyone. Snyder, a graduate student in the department of East Asian languages at the University of California, was living in a tiny cottage in Berkeley, sitting zazen, making tea, and writing poems. He had already spent some time as a merchant mariner and as a solitary fire lookout in the Cascades. Ginsberg introduced Snyder to the East Coast Beat writers, including Jack Kerouac, while Snyder himself became the model for the serious poet that Ginsberg so wanted to become. Snyder encouraged Ginsberg to explore the beauty of the West Coast and, even more lastingly, introduced Ginsberg to Buddhism, the subject of so many long letter exchanges between them. Beginning in 1956 and continuing through 1991, the two men exchanged more than 850 letters. Bill Morgan, Ginsberg's biographer and an important editor of his papers, has selected the most significant correspondence from this long friendship. The letters themselves paint the biographical and poetic portraits of two of America's most important--and most fascinating--poets. Robert Hass's insightful introduction discusses the lives of these two major poets and their enriching and moving relationship.
As Snyder more succinctly observed of their relationship: "I made him walk more, he made me talk more."
Yes, many an old fart's holiday list is now complete.