Monday, May 5, 2014

The Thing About Rivers Now (An Ode by Aaron Copland)

The Assabet and the Sudbury Rivers emerge from the earth near each other and determined. They pour downward on and thru the landscape, glad in gravity. Near Concord, great, they meet and enter the Concord River, that spans the time of saving. This is what the dream is, even in the wars. Concord too becomes tributary, in what we now call Lowell. The land did not always have names but we live in the words we make.

Lowell in its vigour and millwork needed Boston. The Middlesex Canal arrived by shovel, until a train could do the job. Your history produces environment and commerce. Tell your children. We have reached the end of clauses, only to discover more clauses.

Grandeur-rich Assabet grafts energy in water to the presumption that work is life. Doughty Sudbury rustles towards a feisty downhill splash, seemingly content that Allen Bramhall took birth in a hospital near its ramble. And then the mighty Concord, that deftly passes mansions and enjoys the sweet fertilizing taste of human improvement, almost roils with precision into the future of past ideals. Landed crud exists!

History, however, goes almost beyond the reliquary bounds of these rivers. Gentry meets gentry, and learns disappointment. Anti-semititic spring bulbs meet racist toads, in nationally-funded broadcast. Spring arrives by appointment only.

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