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Poetry Landmarks

To the River Duddon




nominated by: Antoinette Fawcett

"Watching the wagtails, Wordsworth wrote:
'Remote from every taint of sordid industry'.
But you and I know better, Duddon lass."

Two great poets, Wordsworth and Nicholson, loved the River Duddon and its estuary (a site of special scientific interest) but it's Nicholson who speaks to the river in this poem using such a tender and rueful tone, as if he's talking to a beloved woman, one just as familiar with slagbanks and "sinter dust" as with screes and damsons.

It's a poem for Wordsworth too, portrayed by Nicholson as an "old man, inarticulate and humble", who "knew that eternity flows in a mountain beck -".

Lovely river - a long and lovely poem.

Norman Nicholson, "Collected Poems", ed. Neil Curry, Faber and Faber, 1994

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The River Duddon



Poetry Society 2003
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