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Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
cold nose dripping
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.
I pledge allegiance
I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to the beings who thereon dwell
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.
From Turtle Island, copyright 1974 Gary Snyder. Reprinted here from the University of Illinois English Department. For educational use only.
Gary Snyder (born 1930) is a poet often associated with the Beat Generation and the San Francisco Renaissance. He is also an essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist. He has been described as the “poet laureate of Deep Ecology.”