Sundays, summer ferry rides,
crossing the rough wide Hudson
from Brooklyn to Staten Island,
from one brave shore to another,
stalked by a colony of seagulls,
the boat frothing white waves in
its habitual and deliberate path.
I’d collect the cold green spray in
my warm hands, framing the tidbit
of raw river in the cup of my palms,
a child-self awed by the pleasures,
by whimsy and an affinity, organic
and ecstatic, like spindrift whorling
as if a dervish from boisterous waves
“And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence, are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.” Walt Whitman (1819-1892), Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photo credit ~ the 69th Street Pier: before the Verranzano Narrows Bridge was built, a ferry service ran between this Bay Ridge pier and the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island.The photograph was released into the public domain.
In honor of Derek Walcott who died a few days ago, the recommended read for this week is The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013. Walcott first poem was published when he was fourteen and this book was published in his 84th year. Never more than now has the world needed the grace, wisdom and universality of his poetry. This is a must add to your poetry book collection. It doesn’t include the epic Omeros, also recommended, but it does include some of his earlier work that I have not seen included elsewhere.
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