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VIEW OF THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"View of the Brooklyn Bridge" is a poem by William Meredith, an American poet who served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1978 to 1980. The poem was first published in 1961 and reflects on the poet's experience of looking at the Brooklyn Bridge and the ways in which it symbolizes the city of New York.

Explanation:

The poem is a meditation on the Brooklyn Bridge, which the poet sees as a symbol of the city's history and aspirations. The poem describes the bridge's "web of steel" and "spiderlike towers" as they rise up above the East River. The speaker reflects on the significance of the bridge as a symbol of human achievement and progress, and on the role of the city of New York as a center of commerce and culture.

As the poem progresses, Meredith employs a range of poetic devices to explore the themes of beauty, history, and the human experience. The poem also reflects on the relationship between the individual and the larger social and cultural contexts in which they live.

Poetic Elements:

  • Form: "View of the Brooklyn Bridge" is a free-verse poem with no consistent rhyme scheme or meter.
  • Imagery: The poem is full of vivid sensory images, particularly of the bridge itself and the city that surrounds it.
  • Metaphor: The poem employs a number of metaphors, particularly in its depiction of the bridge as a symbol of human achievement and progress.
  • Symbolism: The Brooklyn Bridge serves as a powerful symbol throughout the poem, representing both the history and aspirations of the city of New York.
  • Theme: The poem explores themes of beauty, history, and the relationship between the individual and larger cultural contexts.

Conclusion:

"View of the Brooklyn Bridge" is a beautiful and contemplative poem that reflects on the significance of one of New York City's most iconic landmarks. Meredith's use of vivid imagery, metaphor, and symbolism creates a sense of the bridge's power and significance, as well as the complexity of the city that surrounds it. The poem also touches on larger themes of human achievement, progress, and the relationship between the individual and the larger social and cultural contexts in which they live. Overall, "View of the Brooklyn Bridge" is a thoughtful and deeply resonant work of poetry.

Poem Snippet:

"From below, the city is one such great sound;

It rumbles and thunders and hisses and sings,

And in it all the trucks and cars and buses

Add one more small shrillness to the uproar."


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