You are currently browsing the daily archive for May 23, 2007.
Item #1: This is a cormorant song, not a swan song. See below.
“Manhattan from the Bay”
June 25. [1800-something or other, lazy editor]—”RETURNED to New York last night. Out to-day on the waters for a sail in the wide bay, southeast of Staten island—a rough, tossing ride, and a free sight—the long stretch of Sandy Hook, the highlands of Navesink, and the many vessels outward and inward bound. … A moderate sea-breeze had set in; yet over the city, and the waters adjacent, was a thin haze, concealing nothing, only adding to the beauty. From my point of view, as I write amid the soft breeze, with a sea-temperature, surely nothing on earth of its kind can go beyond this show. To the left the North river with its far vista—nearer, three or four war-ships, anchor’d peacefully—the Jersey side, the banks of Weehawken, the Palisades, and the gradually receding blue, lost in the distance—to the right the East river—the mast-hemm’d shores—the grand obelisk-like towers of the bridge, one on either side, in haze, yet plainly defin’d, giant brothers twain, throwing free graceful interlinking loops high across the tumbled tumultuous current below—(the tide is just changing to its ebb)—the broad water-spread everywhere crowded—no, not crowded, but thick as stars in the sky—with all sorts and sizes of sail and steam vessels, plying ferry-boats, arriving and departing coasters, great ocean Dons, iron-black, modern, magnificent in size and power, fill’d with their incalculable value of human life and precious merchandise—with here and there, above all, those daring, careening things of grace and wonder, those white and shaded swift-darting fish-birds, (I wonder if shore or sea elsewhere can outvie them,) ever with their slanting spars, and fierce, pure, hawk-like beauty and motion—first-class New York sloop or schooner yachts, sailing, this fine day, the free sea in a good wind. And rising out of the midst, tall-topt, ship-hemm’d, modern, American, yet strangely oriental, V-shaped Manhattan, with its compact mass, its spires, its cloud-touching edifices group’d at the centre—the green of the trees, and all the white, brown and gray of the architecture well blended, as I see it, under a miracle of limpid sky, delicious light of heaven above, and June haze on the surface below.”
Thanks to Cheyenne, here’s a Whitman wannabe reading lines from the bard.
This year on Monday, May 28 @ 1 pm, another bard wannabe will attempt to channel Walt. Come sail Pioneer outa South Street, handle some lines, hear the wind in the rigging, and feel the power of poetry. In fact, come aboard with your own Whitman favorites, and try your own powers at conjuring up old Walt.
Item#1 reprise: Swansong cormorant song? I’m off oon in search of my personal anchors. My earliest anchor was a cement block tied off to a canoe thwart. It gave me stability and perspective suited to fishing. Hey . . . it worked.
So I leave for almost two weeks, making a beeline away from salt water and blogs as a way to regain some perspective.
From this perspective, this hardly looks to be the same bridge that serves as my logo, but Bayonne it surely is.
Or here . . . silhouetted behind the second bridge pylon from the left is Snake Hill aka Laurel Hill in Secaucus. Who woulda thunk?
Thanks for the past 10,000+ reads. Return in early June. A clue to one of my destinations: a place where this young tugster once excavated a mysterious anchor.
With a handy jetsam bucket, I dug around the anchor, examined it, foto’d it, and then let the next incoming tide rebury it unmarked, lost maybe for decades or forever.
If I excavate it again, it’ll be like getting re-acquainted with an old friend–ome things changed, some never will.
And speaking of old friends, another destination is upstate New York, a place where I hope to watch the sun set over a body of water where the other side is invisible even on the clearest day. Sunshine=fotos.
Cormorants line up and spread wings where the wind can refresh and restore.