Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Went into the Maverick Bar by Gary Snyder

I found this poem very funny and love the comparison. The poem clearly expresses the author on vacation. It explains in detailed what he could or would on vacation, letting out his personal experience he had. This poem is express in a smooth and calm tone that full with joy. The image I understood in the poem was the author made sure he wrote in detailed for us as the reader to feel as we were there. In my point of view, he went on this vacation to release all stress and ego that is inside of him. Yet he didn’t even know that he was doing this. That the part that was remarkable to me. In lines (15-21), the author states; “They [the dancing couple] held each other like in High School dances in the fifties, I recalled when I worked in the woods and the bars of Madras, Oregon. That short-haried joy and roughness, America -- your stupidity. I could almost love you again”. The author shows his sense of his relationship to America, though fraught and ambiguous like the syntax through the poem. He seeks to clarify through his relationship to the work he once did in the woods and bars of Oregon. If his alienation seems to frame a challenge to the complacent America is portray in this bar, it is also seen to be the product of imagery traditionally thought of as ‘deeply' American. Also in my opinion the author seems as if he did experience already but in his fantasy world. The work of the poem is not, therefore, it’s inspiring to integrate the environments of land and poem. The poem asserts that romantic transcendence, that which sees the poem as a riprap. It is in recognizing the deeply ingrained patterns of America's acculturation of the land that the real work of ecological reading can begin.


  1. What's the "comparison" you refer to? He's not on "vacation," though, merely a moment after a day's work--a "leisure" moment--a break in th routine of practical work that allows him to come back to himself, and another kind of work (as in William's "The Red Wheelbarrow"); the poem also works as social commentary, and might be usefully compared to Ginsberg's "America" or "Supermarket in California."

    How do you see this poem as ripap? that comment moer properly refers to another Snyder poem, "Riprap"; the last sentence identifies an important aspect of the poem's theme. How does the imagery make this connection between the "real work" (as opposed to what other kind of work?) and ecology? Also, think of the poem, too, as part of the "real work" (William's again).

    To get a stronger sense of what this "real work" involves, look at Snyder's poems "Riprap" and "Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout."

    Also, when mixing critics' comments with your own observations, as you do in your blog, always use quotes for quoted material and identify the sources.

  2. I'm sorry but I don't see much humor in this poem at all, maybe I am too serious a person. I'm kind of saddened by the message this poems speaks. It sounds to me like the person who is in this "maverick bar" is trying to assimilate without being found out that he is of a different mindset than the locals who frequent this bar (and who are in the bar tonight.) I think the "short-haired joy and roughness…" that the speaker mentions is about a (stereo) typical southwestern cartoon persona – not a real or natural person. The real person tucked his long hair (indicative of the beat movement and later the hippies) under a cap and left his earring in the car. I don't think there was a relief from stress but added stress when the speaker changed hats.