Gary Snyder, Zen hero of the NW

That's pretty much how Gary Snyder looked when I met him in the Fall of 1968 when I was a freshman at Michigan State University and he came to the library to do a poetry reading and give a talk to about 150 fans and English majors. Obviously he became a role model and hero to me.

Here is link to a long form essay written a while back that gives you a feeling for his life and work (although most of his writing is not as bawdy as the examples offered).

My favorite line from an early poem that I can no longer locate reminds me of my own pre-dawn experience being awakened from sleep during sesshin at the Rochester Zen Center, winter of 1972:

Distant bell

comes closer . . .

Just a fragment, but it sets up a powerfully warm and vibrant nostalgia whenever I repeat it.

If you want more, he is all over the internet, and well worth looking into. Here is how he looks closer to now, around 90: