Art and a Poem, Day 4 January 3, 2014

Northern Lights Philip Sworden

Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout

Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.

                              Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder is another of my favorite poets who is from the Beat Generation. Finding artwork to match this poem wasmore difficult than I anticipated. I wanted something that depicted the Pacific Northwest, but it proved to be quite the task. Finally, I decided to think of some of the things I associate with that area, cedar trees, NorthwesternNative American Totem Poles and lastly, the northern lights. And I came across this one which showed trees and lights.

Finally, why I chose this poem. It is one of my favorite poems of all times. The precision of the imagery makes me feel the cold metal up in my hand and taste the metallic, frigid, clean water on tongue. I can smell the smoke he describes. And the forest heat practically causes perspiration to bead on my neck. In such a short poem, I am completely transported to that place and time. please check with Melanie for more art and poems.