(Also for Magpie 88 and Sunday Scribblings)
"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,
I see that the word of my city is that word from of old,
Because I see that word nested in an island sixteen miles long, solid-founded.
Numberless crowded streets, high growths of iron, slender, strong,
light, splendidly uprising toward clear skies.
The down-town streets, the jobbers' houses of business, the houses
of business of the ship-merchants and money-brokers, the
Immigrants arriving, fifteen or twenty thousand in a week.
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.
City of hurried and sparkling waters! City of spires and masts!
City nested in bays! Mannahatta, my city!"
(P. S. It's always been my backyard. --Berowne)
1 year ago