To Brooklyn Bridge
by Hart Crane
To Brooklyn Bridge Visions of America Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line)
Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,
A rip-tooth of the sky's acetylene;
All afternoon the cloud-flown derricks turn . . .
Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still. (lines 21-24)
Wall Street is shown as a dark place where light is crowded out by tall buildings except for a jagged shaft of light like burning flammable gas. We'd say this might be a negative portrayal of our financial center, but it sounds kinda cool. Crane seems more interested in the appearance of the city than with what goes on inside it.
O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies' dreaming sod, (lines 41-42)
The poem mostly focuses on New York, except here at the very end. The river takes an imaginative leap over both the ocean and the prairies of the heartland. One critic thinks that "the prairies' dreaming sod" refers to the speaker of the poem. "Sod" could be short for "sodomite" (a disparaging term for a gay person); Crane was both gay and from the Midwest, where there are prairies.