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Mayakovsky In New York: A Found Poem Analysis

Author: Poetry of Annie Dillard Type: Poetry Views: 255

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The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 274, No. 3 September 19941994New York: You take a train that rips through versts.

It feels as if the trains were running over your ears.For many hours the train flies along the banks

of the Hudson about two feet from the water. At the stops,

passengers run out, buy up bunches of celery,

and run back in, chewing the stalks as they go.Bridges leap over the train with increasing frequency.At each stop an additional story grows

onto the roofs. Finally houses with squares

and dots of windows rise up. No matter how far

you throw back your head, there are no tops.Time and again, the telegraph poles are made

of wood. Maybe it only seems that way.In the narrow canyons between the buildings, a sort

of adventurer-wind howls and runs away

along the versts of the ten avenues. Belowflows a solid human mass. Only their yellow

waterproof slickers hiss like samovars and blaze.

The construction rises and with it the crane, as ifthe building were being lifted up off the ground

by its pigtail. It is hard to take it seriously.The buildings are glowing with electricity; their evenlycut-out windows are like a stencil. Under awnings

the papers lie in heaps, delivered by trucks.

It is impossible to tear oneself away from this spectacle.At midnight those leaving the theaters drink a last soda.

Puddles of rain stand cooling. Poor people scavengebones. In all directions is a labyrinth of trains

suffocated by vaults. There is no hope, your eyes

are not accustomed to seeing such things.They are starting to evolve an American gait out

of the cautious steps of the Indians on the paths of emptyManhattan. Maybe it only seems that way.


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