Pushing from the Riverbank, by Alan Finlay
The poems in pushing from the riverbank move in a space of being where all attempts to hold on to something resist us. "Everything fails, and then is born again." Returning from holiday, the lawn is overgrown, the cat lost, the neighbour encroaches on the border, the three-year old fights off the dangers of the world, the beloved suffers, the roles demanded of us seem larger than ourselves. "i say to my son: i love you he breaks free". There is desolation and amazement in that. There is no match between what life offers and what we need, the poet says - "our needs rest on the twigs of a river crossing". Yet, he seems to tell us, we continue shaping, trying to interpret what surrounds us.
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