On the back cover of A Sense of the Whole you’ll find this quotation from Robert Hass, Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995–97:
That [Mountains and Rivers Without End] is a meditative exercise in looking is crucial to the long poem as a book of instruction and embodiment of knowledge, for its imagination of a transformation of American consciousness, and, implicitly, of our politics, and the ways we interact with the world.
This is from Hass’s brilliant discussion of how to read Snyder’s poetry, available in A Sense of the Whole:
Hass, Robert. “Proceeding by Clues: Reading Mountains and Rivers Without End.” In A Sense of the Whole. Ed. Mark Gonnerman, 143–202. Berkeley: Counterpoint Press, 2015.