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To Brooklyn Bridge Analysis



Author: poem of Hart Crane Type: poem Views: 12

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How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest

The seagull's wings shall dip and pivot him,

Shedding white rings of tumult, building high

Over the chained bay waters Liberty--



Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes

As apparitional as sails that cross

Some page of figures to be filed away;

--Till elevators drop us from our day . . .



I think of cinemas, panoramic sleights

With multitudes bent toward some flashing scene

Never disclosed, but hastened to again,

Foretold to other eyes on the same screen;



And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced

As though the sun took step of thee, yet left

Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,--

Implicitly thy freedom staying thee!



Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft

A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,

Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,

A jest falls from the speechless caravan.



Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,

A rip-tooth of the sky's acetylene;

All afternoon the cloud-flown derricks turn . . .

Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still.



And obscure as that heaven of the Jews,

Thy guerdon . . . Accolade thou dost bestow

Of anonymity time cannot raise:

Vibrant reprieve and pardon thou dost show.



O harp and altar, of the fury fused,

(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)

Terrific threshold of the prophet's pledge,

Prayer of pariah, and the lover's cry,--



Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift

Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,

Beading thy path--condense eternity:

And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.



Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;

Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.

The City's fiery parcels all undone,

Already snow submerges an iron year . . .



O Sleepless as the river under thee,

Vaulting the sea, the prairies' dreaming sod,

Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend

And of the curveship lend a myth to God.






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