Vaulting the sea, the prairies’ dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.
–To Brooklyn Bridge, Hart Crane
Hart Crane and Frederico Garcia Lorca share more than the modernist sensibilities in their poetry. It is in Crane’s sprawling poem “The Bridge” and Lorca’s collection, “A Poet in New York,” that both poets find inspiration from New York and the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most iconic bridges in the world.
Crane’s poem sweeps through the history of the city, and indeed the United States, as he brings voices long past to life in verse that equals the immensity of the bridge that so drove him to write. Lorca, for his part, paints a somewhat bleak picture of the city as he grapples with the loneliness that accompanies a traveler in a foreign land. Both men write with an immediacy that is present throughout their work, and a touch of sadness permeates the majority of their poems.
But, regardless of the tone the city takes in their work, the city certainly made an impact. On the way to Iceland we are going to stop in New York for a couple of days. I am interested to see what sort of impression I come away with after my visit, and while I’ll not claim to express it as well as Crane or Lorca, I certainly plan to share both my words and photos as soon as I return.