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i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

No Sleep Til Brooklyn

February 28, 2005

Ah, sweet, another poem with a twin towers over the George Washington Bridge - this be the Brooklyn Bridge, matey! Also, this poem is decidely more reverent in tone than David Lehman's poem.

That's good, I'd think, considering that this seems to be a prayer directed "To Brooklyn Bridge" (by Hart Crane). Words like "forsake" , "multitudes" , "foretold" , "Accolade" , "altar", "prophet" , and "immaculate" struck me immediately with their religiosity! (Am I secretly a religious obsessive? What is it with me and the religious stuff?)

Some of the words I had to look up:

Belamite - A mentally ill person

Parapet - Basically, a protective railing.

ahhh... now I see the imagery of some nut job leaping into the bay!

Acetylene - an explosive gas

Guerdon - a reward

I was also curious about when the Brooklyn Bridge was built: 1883. I wonder if this poem was written specifically for the 50th anniversary? I mean, that would make sense...

Finally, I like the reference in the first stanza: "Over the chained bay waters Liberty---" If you've seen the Brooklyn Bridge, you know that the bridge basically separates the bay from the ocean, spanning from Staten Island to Brooklyn (forgive me, please, if my geography is inaccurate. I am an English major after all.) Anyway, the chain imagery is apt to me and the Statue of Liberty does sit pretty and green smack dab in the middle. (Do you realize that the people in New Jersey are constantly looking at Liberty's arse?)

Moira at 09:52 PM :: Comments (2) :: ::
Comments:

I definetly looked up those words, too! Gina Burgese and I had a conversation about this very poem last night in a computer lab about how we had to "translate" the poem in order to understand it. That's a different kind of translation than I'm used to, but it's translation nonetheless. Associate jargon can be a boulder to shove in understanding almost anything... but I don't, personally, think that it proved to be much of an obstacle for the meaning of this work--what do you think?

Posted by: Karissa at March 1, 2005 06:30 PM

I found that looking up the words that I wasn't really sure about only served to enhance my understanding of the poem - kinda giving it a deeper layer, because as I said - I didn't initially catch the reference to folks leaping off the bridge.

and you're right - this poem definitely required some translation! soooo glad I'm not the only one! :c)

Posted by: moira at March 1, 2005 06:36 PM
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