Nicole for October 20th, 2009
New York then and New York Now. While reading Whitman Biography, as well as our readings I taught about how similar people taught about things then and now, as well as how our lives in the 21st century can translate to that period in time.
The burdens of life, the unimaginable childhood Whitman endured. the relation-ship with is mother who passed away in 1883, the animosity he probably had towards his drunken father and the sibling diversity in which he had to be an older brother and a stand in male figure.
Today in our lives we still see this, siblings raising siblings, children becoming more mature faster than they should as people would say. But then I sit and think; are we becoming mature faster? because in Whitmans’s time by 14-15 he was already a man with a job. Is time repeating itself like fashion, are we as a society seeing the norms of our past and present lives.
In Whitmans poem Mannahatta he says ” Immigrants arriving, fifteen or twenty thousand in a week, The carts hauling goods,”. This verse can translate to now, there are so many immigrants still coming in to the city( like myself) from near and far everyday. They come, they want that dream to live, to have a “better life ” to hopefully appreciate our city, our colours, and to become one of us. As an immigrant with family and friends coming aboard to start a new , they always want to go and see attractions in the city. The main one is the Statue of Liberty. It stands for everything when moving to this country, and it has not changed much since it was erected in the 1860s.
I was asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
Whereupon lo! upsprang the aboriginal name.
Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane,
unruly, musical, self-sufficient,
I see that the word of my city is that word from of old,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays,
Rich, hemm’dthick all around with sailships and
steamships, an island sixteen miles long, solid-founded,
Numberless crowded streets, high growths of iron, slender,
strong, light, splendidly uprising toward clear skies,
Tides swift and ample, well-loved by me, toward sundown,
The flowing sea-currents, the little islands, larger adjoining
islands, the heights, the villas,
The countless masts, the white shore-steamers, the lighters,
the ferry-boats, the black sea-steamers well-model’d,
The down-town streets, the jobbers’ houses of business, the
houses of business of the ship-merchants and money-
brokers, the river-streets,
Immigrants arriving, fifteen or twenty thousand in a week,
The carts hauling goods, the manly race of drivers of horses,
the brown-faced sailors,
The summer air, the bright sun shining, and the sailing
The winter snows, the sleigh-bells, the broken ice in the
river, passing along up or down with the flood-tide or
The mechanics of the city, the masters, well-form’d,
beautiful-faced, looking you straight in the eyes,
Trottoirs throng’d, vehicles, Broadway, the women, the
shops and shows,
A million people–manners free and superb–open voices–
hospitality–the most courageous and friendly young
City of hurried and sparkling waters! city of spires and masts!
City nested in bays! my city