Ted Hughes: <em>River</em> (UK ed.)

Ted Hughes: River (UK ed.)

Ted Hughes: <em>River</em> (US ed.)

Ted Hughes: River (US ed.)


Author: Hughes, Ted

Published by Faber & Faber in association with James & James, 1983
US ed.: Harper & Row, 1984 (without photographs)

Photographs by Peter Keen

River is Ted Hughes's second collaboration with a photographer. Poems and photographs seem more loosely related than in Remains of Elmet, and subsequent editions were published without photographs. The book continues with what is often called Hughes's 'nature poetry', as collected in books such as Moortown Diary and Remains of Elmet. The focus, however, is more strongly on rivers and other bodies of water and the animals that live in and around them. Probably the best-known poem from the collection is "An October Salmon".

Until his death Ted Hughes had been a passionate angler and conservationist. An interview published in 1999 in the anglers's magazine Wild Steelhead & Salmon  seems to date back to the time when several of the River poems were written.

Three Books (Faber & Faber, 1993) includes a version without the photographs. See also Ted Hughes & Paul Muldoon (audio tape).


  • The Morning before Christmas
  • Japanese River Tales
  • Flesh of Light
  • New Year
  • Whiteness [Primer of Birds poem]
  • Four March Watercolours
  • Dee
  • The Merry Mink
  • Salmon-taking Times
  • Under the Hill of Centurions
  • A Cormorant
  • Stump Pool in April
  • Go Fishing
  • Milesian Encounter at the Sligachan
  • Ophelia [Orts poem]
  • Creation of Fishes
  • River Barrow
  • West Dart
  • Strangers
  • After Moonless Midnight
  • An August Salmon
  • The Vintage of River is Unending
  • Night Arrival of Sea-Trout
  • The Kingfisher [Primer of Birds poem]
  • That Morning
  • River
  • Last Night
  • Gulkana
  • In the Dark Violin of the Valley
  • Low Water
  • A Rival [Primer of Birds poem]
  • August Evening
  • Last Act
  • September Salmon
  • Eighty and Still Fishing for Salmon
  • September [Not the same poem as the one with the same title in Hawk in the Rain (Sagar/Tabor)]
  • An Eel
  • Fairy Flood
  • Riverwatcher
  • October Salmon
  • Visitation [from Three River Poems]
  • Torridge
  • Salmon Eggs