To Brooklyn Bridge
How we cite our quotes:
Terrific threshold of the prophet's pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover's cry,-- (lines 31-32)
The speaker identifies with the marginal figures in society, like prophets, pariahs, and anguished lovers. These are the people who can appreciate the spiritual dimensions of the bridge, rather than seeing it merely as a means of getting from one place to another.
Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear. (lines 37-38)
Here the speaker is positioned quite literally in the margins of New York – under the shadow of the bridge. His "waiting" might be a reference to his homosexuality, as we explained in the "Line-by-Line Summary." His identity is in the shadow, as if he were trying to stay hidden, to avoid revealing himself. Line 38 is a paradox that expresses the advantages of being hidden, "in the dark."