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Gary Snyder

“The swallow shell that eases birth…”

Reed College, February 14, 1956

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This poem became “Hunting 4.” No variations between recorded version and published text until line 15. (Note, however, Snyder’s interjection of tribal names “Haida,” “Makah,” and “Cowlitz” at the ends of lines 2, 10, and 12.) At line 15, a short poem to “Pelican” was edited from final text. At line 23 “aglow” in the recorded version was replaced by “shine” in the final text.

Introductory Remarks to “Beasts”
“First Shaman Song: In the village of the dead…” 
“‘Birds’—Birds in a whirl, drift to the rooftops…” 
“The swallow shell that eases birth…”
“Now some poems about bears…”
“‘Deer’—I dance on all the mountains…”
“‘Tiger’s Song’: I gnaw the body of delight…”
“The head of the mountain goat is in the corner…” 
“‘Mouse’— Cat wouldn’t finish that mouse…”
“Two Dance Songs for a Four-Crowned Dancing Hat”
“This is a poem for Maitreya, the future Buddha…”
“Gull came down slantwise over the deck…”
“This is in the Olympics, the Grey Wolf Valley…” 
“The Dosewallips Valley…In the ruins of a CCC shelter…”
“First day of the world…”
“How rare to be born a human being…”

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