Surrounded by Wild Turkeys by Gary Snyder b. 1930

I live in the Thanksgiving corner of the country. Plymouth Plantation is just down the road. I pass–what I believe was–Lydia Marie Child’s house in Wayland, Massachusetts, every day, several times. She wrote Over the river and through the woods. She called the poem The New England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day. It was published in 1844 in Boston. Wild turkeys roam these woodsy suburbs. They stop traffic regularly.

Here’s a wild turkey poem by Gary Snyder.

Gary Snyder

Surrounded by Wild Turkeys

Little calls as they pass
Through dry forbs and grasses
Under blue oak and gray digger pine
In the warm afternoon of the forest-fire haze;

Twenty or more, long-legged birds
all alike.

So are we, in our soft calling,
passing on through.

Our young, which trail after,

Look just like us.

2 thoughts on “Surrounded by Wild Turkeys by Gary Snyder b. 1930

  1. Thanks for introducing Mr Snyder to a benighted Englishman and for my new word of the day, forbs. Now if only certain folks could recognise that what we do is only ever ‘soft calling’ and stop pretending that the shouty ‘I didn’t vote for something or other, therefore those that did so must be the oily sublimations of the devil incarnate’ mean more than Bogie’s hill of beans.


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