Library honors ‘To Brooklyn Bridge’ poet Hart Crane
Hart Crane (1899-1931), an American poet known for his tribute to the Brooklyn Bridge, will be honored tonight, January 9, at the Friends of the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library’s “Dedicated to Hart Crane” ceremony. Born in Ohio, Crane moved to New York as a teenager, and his new home became the subject of much of his writing. His most famous collection, The Bridge, illustrates Crane’s fascination with urban America, but also reflects some of the inner struggles that led him to take his own life. In the final three stanzas of his poem “To Brooklyn Bridge,” Crane writes:
Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path–condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.
Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City’s fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year . . .
O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies’ dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.
A plaque from the Empire State Center for the Book will be dedicated to Crane, after which Crane biographer Dr. Langdon Hammer, chairman of the English Department at Yale, will speak about the poet and read from Crane’s anthology.
Tonight’s ceremony, free and open to the public, will begin at 6:30pm at 280 Cadman Plaza West (Tillary Street) in Downtown Brooklyn. Refreshments will be served and a limited number of books will be available for purchase.
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