Friday, September 3, 2010

Poetry Friday: Poetry Mix Tape...Rivers

Not only is Tuesday my first day of school, it's the first day of school for two of my children as well. One of the things on my "Things to do with the kids before summer ends" list is to take them downtown to ride the People Mover (a train that carries commuters and visitors around the city's main downtown area) and have a nice picnic lunch by the Detroit River. I guess I don't have many days left to do this, but I think we can squeeze it in.

Detroit's downtown isn't the most bustling of places, but I do have a fondness for the river. Water of any kind is something I enjoy, but I always find myself enchanted by the shores of the Detroit River. Maybe it's the view of a foreign country. Maybe it's that "water symbolizes rebirth" thing. Maybe it's the huge ships and barges. Who knows.


This got me thinking about poems about rivers. I don't know that many, so it seemed a good one to research. Thanks to the Poetry Foundation's Poetry Tool, I even came across one (albeit a slightly depressing one--you'll see when you click the link to read the rest) about the very river pictured above:

Poem to the Detriot River
By Terry Wolverton

Not really a river at all,
but a handshake between two Great
Lakes, Huron stretching to embrace
Erie in its green-gray grasp. You
stitch the liquid boundary of
a city dismantling itself,
bricks unmortared, spires sagging, burnt
out structures razed to open field.
Prairies returning here, foxtails
and chicory, Queen Anne’s lace sways;
tumbleweeds amble down Woodward
Avenue, blow past fire hydrants,
storefronts and rusted Cadillacs.

You are the mirror into which
we plunge. 

Read the rest of the poem here.

And please also check out these poems about rivers (although I'm not sure "Gold River" nor "The Way to the River" are about rivers, they river in the title and I like them a lot, so they make the mix tape!):

"A River" by John Poch
"The Way to the River" by W.S. Merwin
"The Negro Speaks of Rivers" by Langston Hughes
"Trout" by Kathryn Starbuck
"Gold River" by Catie Rosemurgy
"Niagara River" by Kay Ryan

Know more poems about rivers? Please add them in the comments section. I just know there are more out there.

And while I have your attention, if you haven't subscribed yet, please do so either by email or RSS. My ego needs a boost and topping the 10 subscribers I currently have would certainly do the trick. Also, if you are new to my "Poetry Mix Tape" concept, please check out the previous three, which I do think were top notch, in my humble opinion.

Oh, and please check out the Poetry Friday Roundup over at Susan Taylor Brown's wonderful blog.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you have a better time on the Detroit River than is portrayed in that poem! Maybe it's time for you to write a more positive one!!!