ABOUT THE POEM In many of the poems of the Odia writer Saroj Bal, the forces of the natural world—rivers, the wind—run up against the world of human beings, but in new and mysterious forms. In ‘The River Returns,’ it is not the human subject who approaches the river, but the river that intrudes upon the speaker and seems perfectly willing to sit upon a plastic chair in a drawing room.
As the poem progresses, the river seems full of secrets, as does the speaker, who appears to fall away from human subjectivity into a void-like, river-friendly state—“I have meditated to be a hill.”
The River Returns
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