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THE RIVER Reflections
A collection of observations, thoughts, and ideas related to THE RIVER.

 


Langston Hughes
1901-1967
American poet

You may read
the full text
at the Poetry Foundation.

 

 



I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

 

  

Maria Magdelena Swanson
(née Velasquez)

1909-2003

 

On the feast of St. John the Baptist, we would celebrate by having a picnic by the river,
as the waters are specially blessed on the day. Our neighbors and we would cook chicken and
bring rice, tortillas, pinto beans, and cheese, for the picnic. We would go to a pine forest,
located by a river in the Sierra Madres mountains of Chihuahua, Mexico, not far from the small
village where we lived. People would make music with mandolins and guitars while everyone else danced.

 

In Dakota/Lakota, we say "Mni Wiconi," which means water is life. Native American people know that water
is the first medicine for all human beings living on this Earth. Water also makes up an important part of
our cultural traditions. Some families that reside by water that runs into the river even refer to themselves
by their creeks. They are from the Big Lake Family, the Four Mile Family and the Porcupine Creek Family, all
tributaries of the Missouri River.

 


Shusaku Endo

Japanese Novelist
Deep River, 1993

 

At the end of her range of vision, the river gently bent, and there the light sparkled,
as though it were eternity itself.
I have learned, though, that there is a river of humanity. Though I still don't know what lies
at the end of that flowing river. But I feel as though I've started to understand what I was yearning
for through all the many mistakes of my past...

What I can believe in now is the sight of all these people, each carrying his or her own individual
burdens, praying at this deep river...

I believe that the river embraces these people and carries them away. A river of humanity.
The sorrows of this deep river of humanity. And I am a part of it.

 

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