Sun Oct 30th, 2005 at 10:27:26 AM EST
Back from the front page ~ whataboutbob
This TBB will be another trip down parallel lines. No, not railway lines. Parrallel, as such, as it starts with an image of a bridge
but continues quite different after the fold.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
this is probably how Wordsworth saw it - in this Canaletto painting from 1747
and not like Monet only a couple of years later.
1] Dorothy Wordsworth in her Journal July 31, 1802, described the scene as she and her brother left London, early in the morning, for their month-long visit to Calais: "It was a beautiful morning. The city, St. Paul's, with the river, and a multitude of little boats, made a most beautiful sight as we crossed Westminster Bridge. The houses were not overhung by their cloud of smoke, and they were spread out endlessly, yet the sun shone so brightly, with such a fierce light; that there was something like the purity of one of nature's own grand spectacles." 1
however the poem that accompanies this bridge in Arta, Greece
is rather more tragic: It describes in lyrical terms how the masons built the structure all day long just to find that it collapsed overnight. With this process repeating itself for a long time to the desperation of the masons, only divine intervention could save the bridge, and it came in the form of a message from a bird. The building of the bridge according to the message required the personal sacrifice of the foreman's beautiful wife. The poem revolves around the foreman's conflict between his own tragic personal loss, and the resulting common good. The conflict resolves itself with the tragic death of the young wife as she unknowingly becomes victim for the benefit of the greater society. This epic poem has survived through oral tradition for centuries.
Unfortunately I could not even find a greek version, but this quote is from here
there are of course many more poems and many more bridges, which ones spring to your mind?