Poetic Imagination: Take a walk on the wild side

National Gallery Canberra, Sculpture Garden 2009

Some nice quotes from ex-Beat Poet, Californian bioregionalist and Zen practitioner Gary Snyder on poetry, art and the wild from his essay ‘Writers and the War Against Nature’ (Resurgence No. 239):

“There is a tame and also a wild side to the human mind. The tame side, like a farmer’s field, has been disciplined and cultivated to produce a desired yield. It is usefull, but limited. The wild side is larger, deeper, more complex, and though it cannot be fully known, it can be explored. The explorers of the wild mind are often writers and artists. The ‘poetic imagination’ of which William Blake so eloquently spoke is the territory of wild mind. It has landscapes and creatures within it that will surprise us; it can refresh us and scare us. It reflects the larger truth of our ancient selves, both animal and spiritual. […]

The great myths and folktales of human magic and nature’s power were our school for ten thousand years. Whether they know it or not, even modern writers draw strength from the wild side. […]

Art takes nothing from the world: it is a gift and an exchange. It leaves the world nourished.

Poems, novels, plays, with their great deep minds of story, awaken the Heart of Compassion. And so they confound the economic markets, rattle the empires, and open us up to the actually existing human and non-human world. Performance is art in motion; in the moment; both enactment and embodiment. This is exactly what nature herself is.”


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on October 15, 2010.

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