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Ananda Claude Dalenberg Page

See this poem alone

“Parting with Claude Dalenberg”. by Gary Snyder

is included with comments on Claude in an excerpt from:

Basho, Issa, Kerouac & Snyder
On the Road Haiku

by Emily Evans

Snyder & Issa

eight years: San Francisco, the
beaches, the mountains,
      The moon and flowers:
Forty nine years
      Walking about wasting time

This pair fills the cornerstone of my project. Snyder and Issa’s haiku comment on the nature of travel in regards to their poetic aesthetic. As Snyder begins, “eight years: San Francisco” and ends with “Japan” he sums up his travels with a pebble drop. The pebble falls deep into a lake, just as deep as this haiku. During any travel the traveler is changed, and when Snyder reflects on his eight years, it is possible that he can hardly recognize the person that stood at the edge of the Pacific Ocean so long ago. As he crossed beaches and mountains his perceptions and understandings widened, thereby opening a feeling of greater connection with the Earth.

This haiku is actually a stanza taken from the long-form poem “Parting with Claude Dalenberg”.

Parting with Claude Dalenberg

Why don’t we get drunk
            sit all night facing the moon
  “opening our hearts”
            as men did long ago?

last night was full moon, but
                        too cloudy.

one bottle of sake
            soon gone.
at lunchtime today you stopped by
your ship sails from Kobe at six.

eight years: San Francisco, the
beaches, the mountains,

Quiet talk and slow easy pace.
with your rucksack to India,
Europe, return

ease of the world, the light

as though we might
somewhere be
            parting again.

Claude Dalenberg is an American Zen teacher that Snyder met with while in Japan. Dalenberg also knew Kerouac, as evidenced by his inclusion of a character in The Dharma Bums based off Dalenberg named Bud Duchendorf [sic: Diefendorf] . When we put Snyder’s haiku in its original context, the meaning deepens and changes. Now, not only does the haiku comment on the transitions one undergoes while traveling, but also travel’s effect on friendships. Snyder describes a farewell celebration of drinking sake and staying up late. The haiku has a sense of closure to it; a complete cyclical rotation in time.

[She surely got Duchendorf from an early error on my part - dc]

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