What You Should Know to Be a Poet
by Gary Snyder
all you can know about animals as persons.
the names of trees and flowers and weeds.
the names of stars and the movements of planets
and the moon.
your own six senses, with a watchful elegant mind.
at least one kind of traditional magic:
dicvination, astrology, the book of changes, the tarot;
the illusory demons and the illusory shining gods.
kiss the ass of the devil and eat shit;
fuck his horny barbed cock,
fuck the hag,
and all the celestial angels
and maidens perfum’d and golden –
& then love the human: wives husbands and friends
children’s games, comic books, bubble-gum,
the weirdness of television and advertising.
work long, dry hours of dull work swallowed and accepted
and lived with and finally lovd. exhaustion,
the wild freedom of the dance, extasy
silent solitary illumination, entasy
real danger. gambles and the edge of death.