A Gary Snyder Reading

I went to a reading by the poet Gary Snyder last night at Plymouth Congregational Church, one of Minneapolis’s great liberal churches.  It was standing room only, and I was one of those standing.

Imagine your platonic ideal of a beloved, revered, erudite but approachable (male) professor of literature and that is what Gary Snyder, white hair and beard, a white shirt, tie and dark coat, looks like.  Born in 1930, he seemed hardy and vital, and cast a warm, benevolent spell over the audience, some of whom in the packed sanctuary were sitting in the choir loft, though they were not required to sing.