What would a summary/ paraphrase of poem The River written by A K Ramunanjan look like in 300 words.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There can be many ways to go on this poem.  I think that needs to be stated on the outset.  On one hand, I think that there is much in the poem that talks about how artists are able to construct reality in their own manner.  The author talks of the poets who sang of “city” and “temple,” seeking to extol the virtues of this river when it swells.  The flip side to this is how the poets who praise the river forget its destruction.  For example, there is something beautiful in how the river crests and floods through, teeming with life.  Yet the practical reality is that people struggle and die as a result of this ”literary” pain and challenge.  In the end, the poem straddles these ideas of how art can be used to both represent reality and seek to change it.  The poet calls for artists to be more sensitive in their retelling of life to ensure that a fair and open depiction is present.  Yet, this is not something that artists wish to embrace, something that is called upon to change by the end of the poem.