Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Redux newsletter.
Sunday was Earth Day, but before you head outside to explore the wonders of nature, linger a moment with The Paris Review.
This week, we bring you Gary Snyder’s Art of Poetry interview, in which he urges us to love the world; Roger Salloch’s story “Romantic Landscape”; and Mark Strand’s poem “After Our Planet.”
Gary Snyder, The Art of Poetry No. 74
Issue no. 141 (Winter 1996)
I feel that the condition of our social and ecological life is so serious that we’d better have a sense of humor. That it’s too serious just to be angry and despairing. Also, frankly, the environmental movement in the last twenty years has never done well when it threw out excessive doom scenarios. Doom scenarios, even though they might be true, are not politically or psychologically effective. The first step, I think, and that’s why it’s in my poetry, is to make us love the world rather than to make us fear for the end of the world. Make us love the world, which means the nonhuman as well as the human, and then begin to take better care of it.