Redrawing the New York-Comics Relationship

Subjective Ramblings and Peripheral Thoughts from the Edges of a Comics Studies Project

In Lieu of a Post, Poetry

The past week has been busy, as I have had to prepare three weeks worth of teaching as well as a public lecture on Jewishness and comics, which I am to deliver at my alma mater, Lund University, on Wednesday afternoon. Sadly, all of this has come in the way of the important stuff, like research and blogging.

New posts are, of course, in the works, but they will have to wait a little longer before they make their entrée. So, without further ado and by way of compensation, I give you Walt Whitman’s beautiful poem “Mannahatta,” from his 1888 collection Leaves of Grass:

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, superb,
Rich, hemm’d thick 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 clouds aloft,
The winter snows, the sleigh-bells, the broken ice in the river,
passing along up or down with the flood-tide or ebb-tide,
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 men,
City of hurried and sparkling waters! city of spires and masts!
City nested in bays! my city!

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2 comments on “In Lieu of a Post, Poetry

  1. Maaheen
    March 26, 2014

    oooh… couldn’t leave without mentioning, tangentially, Hart Crane’s, “To Brooklyn Bridge”
    http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15444

    And that led me to these two (and more but I’ll stop with these counterpoints):

    Victor Hernández Cruz, “The Lower East Side of Manhattan”
    http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19929

    Pedro Medina, “Cityscape I”
    http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16902

    • pmartinlund
      March 29, 2014

      Ooooh, thanks! Beautiful!

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This entry was posted on March 24, 2014 by in News, Quotable New York.
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