Wholeless in the Poetry of Gary Snyder

Miyasaki, Amy
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
One of the most valuable functions of poetry in our culture is to express, and to evoke in the audience, a sense of ..wholeness,' which is to say, spiritual health. Attaining wholeuess in poetry involves integrating two awarenesses: on one hand, the material, manifest world of matter, and on the other hand, the unseen, unmanifest world of the spirit. In regard to the material world, achieving wholeness means experiencing harmony and integration among mind, soul, and body (in other words, between inner and outer self); between self and other human beings; between self and nature; and. between self and the larger universe. The other nonmaterial, unseen world of spirit, energy, and consciousness penetrates and interacts with the material world to also produce wholeness. Awareness of these relationships and their interconnectedness has a nourishing and uplifting effect on the soul and intellect. Poet John Logan has commented that he prizes the power of poetrJ to bind and unite and to make whole. Most poets and human beings naturally aspire toward liholeness--which is a matter of awareness--for it is a life-giving and life-sustaining state of consciousness, a goal of spiritual growth, and the basis of spiritual well-being.
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