September 21, 2009

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

Filed under: Uncategorized — nicoleg @ 11:22 am

Nicole for 22nd of September, 2009


When reading “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”, I taught about Brooklynites still using the ferry to cross the river today, well maybe not the ferry, but the yellow water taxis. Never mind we have the all mighty 150 year old Brooklyn Bridge which took 14 years to build and finished in 1883, we still relay on the boat to hoover us across the river.

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry was one of Whitman’s  pieces, which was written before the Civil War, however there still is that sense of depth that Walt expresses in  most of his work. He speaks about the Barriers between us; referring to the process of  the almighty land of the free which was going to be divide into rivals.

The poem as I mentioned has Walt’s depth and sensuality but, it again holds everyone to Whitman, he connects to everyone on the boat, never mind he stands on his  spot on the boats deck ,he’s in a trans crossing the East River.

Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky,
so I felt,

Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one
of a crowd,

Just as you are refreshed by the gladness of the river,
and the bright flow, I was refreshed,

In one excerpt of the poem he starts each sentence with ;

Flow on

Frolic on


Cross from

Stand Up

Bully For You








These words really stood out to me, they give the papragraph a story and adds an energy to the surroundings.

The poem also has a feel as though Whitman is on a Journey of some sort, from Manhattan to Brooklyn not really a journey! but journey of his soul. He captures every essence of his surroundings, and again he speaks of gods as he is part of  that whole.

My river and sun-set, and my scallop-edged waves of

The sea-gulls oscillating their bodies, the hay-boat in
the twilight, and the belated lighter;
Curious what Gods can exceed these that clasp me
by the hand, and with voices I love call me
promptly and loudly by my nighest name as I
Curious what is more subtle than this which ties me
to the woman or man that looks in my face,

Which fuses me into you now, and pours my meaning
into you.

Brooklun Bridge in 1883, Lithograph  by Currier and Ives

Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, Lithograph by Currier and Ives

2 Responses to “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”

  1. nadiae Says:

    Even though i am here in New Jersey, from his writng and your interpretation i feels as if im on the Brooklyn Bridge!

  2. nicoleg Says:

    I am happy you feel that way! Walking over the bridge is such a good feeling, the view gives you an eye view of Manhattan and Brooklyn as well as a distance eye of Jersey.

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