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“I am the river” Ode

I’m attaching the text of an ode I adapted/modified for the Hudson from an ‘Ode to an Irish river’. I have hopes the ode could be disseminated as part of Nyacks contribution to the planned 2009 Hudson-Champlain celebration. Copyright is under application. Feedback would be welcomed.

‘€˜ I am the River ‘

I am the River. I have carved these soft valleys

from rocks and mountains. As deep sheets of ice

grew all around me, I slowed. As the land warmed

up again, I felt the life within me and around me

return. I watched as the first hunters appeared on my

banks. I watched as the first farmers cut clearings in

the ancient woods that covered the land.

For thousands of years men have fished and

farmed, lived and loved along my banks; yet great

tragedies have unfolded before me. More than

once the rain has washed blood from the land.

Stories of passion, bravery, and endurance

emanate from my valleys thru the ebb and flow of

time. Pass graveyards, farmlands, wooded trails and

glacial boulders. Follow my banks past fossilized

rocks and grassy winding roads and hear stories

of magic and myth. I have borne witness to good

times and bad, famine and plenty, war and peace.

My shores have embraced it all throughout the ages,

casting enduring impressions that flow timelessly

thru the ancient valleys I have wrought.

Tear of the Clouds to the waiting sea

I am the River’€¦ follow me.

Adapted from ‘Ode to an Irish river’ by Joseph Mitlof

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