Foreword Reviews

The Wilds of Poetry

Adventures in Mind and Landscape

All the world’s Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus—they’re peas in a faith-based pod. But Buddhists don’t belong in there. No, the Buddhist gig is more about waking up to what’s real, realization of how the universe really works, our essential oneness with it all. No gods to worship, only the limitless potential of the self.

Whoa Nelly! Those are some wild ideas, said the Western, English-thinking mind back in the nineteenth century when the first Taoist and Zen texts started to cross the Pacific. And only the likes of poets extraordinaire Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman could go there in spirit, as Thoreau did on Mount Ktaadin when he experienced “a moment where all the explanations and assumptions fell away, and he was confronted with the wonderful, inexplicable thusness of things.”

Other poets picked up the thread—Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Gary Snyder, W. S. Merwin—and in The Wilds of Poetry: Adventures in Mind and Landscape, we can glimpse the expansive minds of these greats as they seek answers to some of the most profound questions possible about who we are and where we are. David Hinton, author of Hunger Mountain, Existence: A Story, and numerous translations of Chinese philosophy and poetry, is perhaps the only guide capable of leading this rewilding expedition to bridge modern American poetry with ancient China’s Taoist and Zen traditions.

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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