The Susquehanna is a remarkable river. Its mouth opens into Chesapeake Bay – in many ways, the saltwater bay is simply its continuation.
The Susquehanna originates in the Allegheny and Catskill mountains of Pennsylvania and Upstate New York, depending which of the two forks you follow.
Where I lived, the river traversed the Southern Tier of New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania, highlands of mountainous forests and valley farmlands. It was broad, meandering, and strewn with small wooded islands – not all that different from what I would later encounter where it flowed between Lancaster and York counties in Pennsylvania and on down to Havre de Grace, the town that gave name to my Harbor of Grace collection of prose-poems.
Through the years, its energy has also been harnessed by a series of dams – first for the mills and later for hydroelectric power generation.
I’ve long loved repeating its very name as it rolls from the tongue. There’s something magical and seductive in those four syllables.
No wonder it inspired my newest volume of poetry in the Thistle/Flinch lineup. For your own copy, just click here.