Book: Danger on Peaks

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Danger on Peaks: Poems

Author: Gary Snyder
Publisher: Shoemaker & Hoard

In his first collection of new poems since Axe Handles (1983), Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder shares 55 new poems and prose poems. As long-time readers will recognize, this collection is unique in Snyder’s oeuvre, finding the poet experimenting with a wide variety of styles, including an extended foray into the Japanese form haibun, “making it an American form,” as Snyder himself remarks. Some of the poet’s most personal work is contained in two sections of poems exploring “intimate immediate life, gossip and insight.”

Danger on Peaks begins with the poet’s first climb of Mount St. Helens on August 13, 1945, and his learning on the morning after his descent about the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. The poet visits Mount St. Helens again in 2000 to view the blast site of the 1980 eruption. Then follow poems for the Buddhas of Bamiyan Valley and the World Trade towers. More than a mere gathering of unrelated poems, Danger on Peaks is a constructed work, where every part contributes to the whole.

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