Snyder, Gary. RIPRAP.

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Snyder, Gary. RIPRAP Japan, Origin Press, 1959

8vo. Blue paste paper sewn binding; paper title label pasted to front cover; Japanese folded pages printed on rectos only; [unpaginated]; Housed in a blue clam case with ribbon; inlaid label on front of case; one or two light spots; otherwise fine.
First collected edition; some poets having previously appeared in Berkley Bussei, The Fifities, Yugen, Evergreen Review, Combustion, and the anthology Japan: Themes and Variations (Charles Tuttle and Co)
"Lay down these words/ before your mind like rocks…/ before the body of the mind/ in space and time"…
Snyder's debut collection of poems, RipRap, showcases his origin as a poet and ecologist, demonstrating the early relationship between his work and his activism. Written while Snyder worked on a backcountry trailcrew in 1955, this beautiful collection examines the creative process but also the hardship of living. Synder uses 'riprap' (a random collection of stones thrown together typically in water as a foundation for something) as a metaphor for words. When flung together, they create something material and solid like a book but as dynamic and abstract as ideas. Cementing this concept, he uses the board game Go (where the pieces on the board are like smooth black and white pebbles), to illlustrate what happens when we deploy certain strategies to navitage life. Propelled by his sparse, dynamic style, the collection acts as an instruction for us not to abandon our efforts. Poetry, wrote Gary Snyder, in the poem "Burning: No 13" in Myths and Texts is "a riprap on the slick road of metaphysics".