|Brown she-bear from Alaska in Pictures.|
Recently, black bears have been sighted near where I live in central Maryland.
But my bear is friendly. Like a hiking companion who joins me on long, outdoor walks. I'm not sure why she's visiting my thoughts, but I'm not complaining.
I've used animals as a poetry prompt before, to help elementary schoolers write about their emotions in a way that feels safe. You can read the lesson here (sorry for the wonky formatting).
Today, I'm loving this bear-poem from Gary Snyder.
this poem is for bear
by Gary Snyder
"As for me I am a child of the god of the mountains." A bear down under the cliff. She is eating huckleberries. They are ripe now Soon it will snow, and she Or maybe he, will crawl into a hole And sleep. You can see Huckleberries in bearshit if you Look, this time of year If I sneak up on the bear It will grunt and run The others had all gone down From the blackberry brambles, but one girl Spilled her basket, and was picking up her Berries in the dark. A tall man stood in the shadow, took her arm, Led her to his home. He was a bear. In a house under the mountain She gave birth to slick dark children With sharp teeth, and lived in the hollow Mountain many years. snare a bear: call him out: honey-eater forest apple light-foot Old man in the fur coat, Bear! come out! Die of your own choice! Grandfather black-food! this girl married a bear Who rules in the mountains, Bear!
Read the rest of the poem here.
I love the way that animals -- in our dreams, in mythology and storytelling -- are keepers of the animal-nature in human beings.
I hope the only bears you see on Poetry Friday are in your dreams. For more poetry posts, visit this week's host, Jone at Check It Out.
Laura- This poem is new to me, and it was wonderful to read! Thank you for sharing it, and watch out for those bears!
Wow, that's some poem. Bears are often on my mind; interesting about the Maryland bear sightings!
This is my favorite bear song. It may, or may not, have been written by Dr. Seuss! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OCYIK95KXE
Mr. Snyder kind of lost me with that poem...I'm sure I'll like yours better!
Have you read "Blueberries for Sal"? It's an old book by Maine author, Robert McCloskey, about a bear and a little girl, both picking blueberries. Fortunately, she didn't have to marry the bear!
Seems to me, this bear that has been following you around has become your power animal. I'm sure it has something to tell you... let us know when you figure it out!
Great post, Laura! I am all over power animals and spirit guides. They are all around us if we just pause to pay attention. :0) A couple weeks ago I was visiting family in central Florida and saw some "bear" signs in a forested area near my stepsister's home. I grew up in Orlando, but there was more natural land around the city back then - not so many unsettling accounts of these encounters. I hope in your neck of the woods, your magnificent bear romps through your imagination and not your back yard!
Powerful poem! "Old man in the fur coat, Bear! come out! Die of your own choice!"
We went to a nature center last week and saw some black bears -- so beautiful and enormous. My brother-in-law told us about a guy who made himself a special suit so he could fight bears. (He's not alive any more...)
Not really a fan with the writing style, but the first line of the poem sure is powerful. I have never seen a real bear around, though. They are not native at my place.
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