First published in 1983, River celebrates fluvial landscapes, their creatures and their regenerative powers.Inspired by Hughes's love of fishing and by his environmental activism, the poems are a deftly and passionatelyattentive chronicle of change over the course of the seasons. West Country rivers predominate ('The West Dart'and 'Torridge'), but other poems imagine or recall Japanese rivers or Celtic rivers, and 'The Gulkana' exploresan ancient Alaskan watercourse. At its core the sequence rehearses, in various settings, from winter to winter,the life-cycle of the salmon.All this, too, is stitched into the torn richness,The epic poiseThat holds him so steady in his wounds, so loyal to his doom,so patientIn the machinery of heaven.from 'October Salmon'
by Ted Hughes
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