Photo credit: msspider66z
The history of this country is so much a history of the culture of rivers. ... Rivers are a deep sentimental part of American lore.
On the one hand, there is this almost religious and eschatological dimension to the idea of a river in American culture; on the other hand there are the actual rivers—canalized, abused, polluted, much used, and much denied. There's that joke, 'Denial is a river in Egypt.' Well denial is every river in America. We don't have to look at how we've treated them and what it says about our relationship to the land. In a way, a river is a kind of symbol of the repressed ecological problems in American society."
—Robert Hass, co-founder of River of Words and U.S. Poet Laureate (1995-1997), in Ecological Literacy: Educating our Children for a Sustainable World (2005, Sierra Club Books)