Monday, January 19, 2009

Brooklyn Bridge

In a cab from Brooklyn to the upper east side Saturday night, I was swept up in the stunning urban pleasures of crossing the East River at night and flying up the FDR, city scintillant, gracefully curved edges belying its gridded rigors.

The crowd of us musicians who toil in the mid-town temples of classical music or the theaters of Times Square can easily become provincials, traversing the straight, underground pathway from the upper west side into various orchestra pits (also underground) rarely seeing the city seductively reflected in the river or curving north under girded bridges.

"way out; way in; romantic passageway
first seen by the eye of the mind,
then by the eye. O steel! O stone!
Climactic ornament, a double rainbow..."

---Marianne Moore from "Granite and Steel"

"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."

---Hart Crane from "To Brooklyn Bridge"

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