The River (1951)

The River (1951) In the aftermath of Edward Said’s “Orientalism” and Gayatri Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern Speak?” what can be said of Jean Renoir’s first Technicolor film, shot in documentary fashion on location in Bengal, with a mix of actors and local nonprofessionals? The emphasis on British colonial life through the eyes of Harriet, a young girl, keeps viewers at a distance from India, and Radha’s dance sequence may now seem travelogue exploitation. Despite these qualms, this movie retains a painterly and poetic charm, precisely because the principal characters are all outsiders. Perhaps Renoir is exploring what it means to be present in a foreign land to which you can never belong. “I’m a stranger wherever I go,” Captain John, the romantic lead says, to which Melanie replies, “Where will you find a country of one-legged men?”

Whether it be the sacred Ganges

Or China’s raging Yangtze,

Downriver from tornado territory

[Photo by Ricky Ellis]

Flooding closes Arkansas highways.

Image may contain: sky, outdoor, water and nature

Surging currents churn the water

As neighbors sandbag against disaster,

Image result for arkansas flood sandbagging

Then, when the levee deteriorates,

Lollie Bottoms evacuates.

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A driver sinks like a white shark

In Silloam Springs Kayak Park.

With so much moisture in the ground,

This is what’s left of Highway 155 in Yell County. Floodwater from the Dardanelle levee breach left a hole 200 feet wide: https://bit.ly/2YSrria

July soy won’t come around.

Aerial imagery taken over Ft. Smith, Arkansas, on Feb. 25, 2019, before the flood, then during the Arkansas River flood on June 1, 2019. The highway crossing the river from southeast to northwest is U.S. 64.
Aerial images taken over Ft. Smith, Arkansas, on Feb. 25, 2019, before the flood, then during the Arkansas River flood on June 1, 2019. The highway crossing the river from southeast to northwest is U.S. 64. (Satellite image ©2019 Maxar Technologies) (Record Arkansas River Flood Revealed in Stunning Before and After Aerial Images By Jonathan Erdman. Click for full article.)

Snakes and beetles strengthen their feed

Two aquatic turtles cling to an inundated house roof during major flooding in central Arkansas.
Two aquatic turtles cling to an inundated house roof during major flooding in central Arkansas. – Historic Arkansas River Flood Disrupts Wildlife By JACQUELINE FROELICH (Click for article)

In standing pools where mosquitos breed.

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Before and after photos of Arkansas River flooding taken from Petit Jean Mountain. Photo by Lisa Ashlock.

Infecting cabins with cancerous mold,

 Significant growth, four foot up the wall

Receding waves warp the household.

Stinking of sludge, refuse, and muck,

The river crests outside Toad Suck.

Aerial imagery taken near the Toad Suck Lock and Dam west of Conway, Arkansas, on Oct. 5, 2017, before the flood, then during the Arkansas River flood on June 1, 2019.
Aerial imagery taken near the Toad Suck Lock and Dam west of Conway, Arkansas, on Oct. 5, 2017, before the flood, then during the Arkansas River flood on June 1, 2019. (Satellite image ©2019 Maxar Technologies) (Record Arkansas River Flood Revealed in Stunning Before and After Aerial Images By Jonathan Erdman. Click for full article.)

Now begins the slowest recovery,

Scraping worms from a tree.

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Photo by Dan Clem – Mayflower, Arkansas

 [Disposable Poem June 8, 2019]

Dr. Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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