Poems Essay

3693 WordsNov 25, 201315 Pages
The River God by Stevie Smith takes the perspective of a personified river in the first person. To start, the river simply describes itself as a conventional and seemingly harmless entity. Lines one and two read, “Rough in my pebbles, reedy in my pools, [-] But where my fish float by I bless their swimming”. From here, the river turns into a more complex “human”. It shows desires, needs, wants, jealousy, and a sense of control over its circumstances. Before indulging in these elements, there is the symbolism of the river. This is key in understanding the rest of the poems character. Rivers represent a sense of natural flow. This being attached to that of living in itself being dictated by determinism. For example, if something lands in a river, the interaction between that item and the river itself is predetermined like destiny. Let’s say a rock lands in a river. The physical make up of that rock will interact with the degree in which a river flows. Wherever that rock lands in the end will be determined by a complex equation that has a multiplicity of complex variables. Nonetheless, the end result is predetermined and inevitable. A river is representative of a natural destiny for anything that by chance encounters it. Life, by anything that has the chance to encounter and experience it, also by this nature has a predetermined destiny. Secondly, there is the matter of a river’s representation of time as well as relative stability over long periods of history even with environmental fluctuation. The river erodes rocks and cuts into the earth over time. It is a slow but steady force that must be taken into consideration. The river also in the sense of time frequently symbolizes the impermanence of things. The slow but steady change of nature’s process through life to death. These two aspects of a river’s representation are reinforced and kept in touch with the

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