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Quotes

Quote #4

Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path--condense eternity: (lines 33-35)

Once again Crane takes a very ordinary image – traffic lights on a bridge – and turns it into a magnificent symbol of spirituality. The lights are like "beads" that go on forever, i.e., "condense eternity." Another way to read the image is that they are like stars that have fallen to rest on the bridge, stars being an age-old symbol for heaven or eternity.

Quote #5

And of the curveship lend a myth to God. (line 44)

Crane manages to elevate the bridge to mythic status while giving a kick in the ribs to the Judeo-Christian tradition. He says that the bridge should lend a "myth" to God, which suggests that God is lacking in mythological significance. "Curveship" is a word invented by Crane to express the bridge's special mythological qualities.

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