The Back Country (Paperback)
New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811201940, 150pp.
Publication Date: January 17, 1971
List Price: 14.95*
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This collection is made up of four sections: "Far West" poems of the Western mountain country where, as a young man. Gary Snyder worked as a logger and forest ranger; "Far East" poems written between 1956 and 1964 in Japan where he studied Zen at the monastery in Kyoto; "Kali" poems inspired by a visit to India and his reading of Indian religious texts, particularly those of Shivaism and Tibetan Buddhism; and "Back" poems done on his return to this country in 1964 which look again at our West with the eyes of India and Japan. The book concludes with a group of translations of the Japanese poet Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933), with whose work Snyder feels a close affinity. The title, The Back Country, has three major associations; wilderness. the "backward" countries, and the back country" of the mind with its levels of being in the unconscious.