The day it opened, on May 25, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge proved immensely popular. More than 150,300 people crossed on foot. Both common folk and poets approved. The Brooklyn Bridge has inspired verse by Americans, Hart Crane and Jack Kerouac among others, and the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky.
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 parcel all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year …
Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the riles’ dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.
– Hart Crane, excerpt from The Bridge.
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.