River covers animal poetry, shamanism, metaphysics and mythology. It is also representative of the poet''s eloquence and love for nature. There, movement is literally the paramount means of expression for the poet: it lies in the form of the writing itself, through rhythm and many other literary tricks, as well as through the settings and events described.The whole book is pervaded with movement, which seems to be to the poet what dance is to a dancer. River combines this particular feature with most of the properties of Ted Hughes'' poetry. It is bulging with meanings, symbols, literary and philosophical conceits. It also leads the reader to a deeper understanding of the poet''s vision of life and the universe, through the symbolical microcosm of the riverside environment. A vision generated by the struggle of opposites such as light versus darkness, movement versus stillness, sound versus silence, the world below versus the outside world. If the poet''s outlook is mainly dualistic, one can find a unifying element: Ted Hughes'' interest in shamanism, aiming at vital awareness and harmony.