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Poems About New York

Table of Contents

  1. New York by Richard Hovey
  2. Brooklyn Bridge by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  3. Autumn Dusk in Central Park by Evelyn Scott
  4. Sunset: Battery Park by Evelyn Scott
  5. Evening: New York by Sara Teasdale
  6. The Lights of New York by Sara Teasdale
  7. From Brooklyn by Evelyn Scott
  8. The Bridge Builder by Will Allen Dromgoole
  9. The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

  1. New York

    by Richard Hovey

    The low line of the walls that lie outspread
    Miles on long miles, the fog and smoke and slime,
    The wharves and ships with flags of every clime,
    The domes and steeples rising overhead!
    it is not these. Rather it is the tread
    Of the million heavy feet that keep sad time
    To heavy thoughts, the want that mothers crime,
    The weary toiling for a bitter bread,
    The perishing of poets for renown,
    The shriek of shame from the concealing waves.
    Ah, me ! how many heart-beats day by day
    Go to make up the life of the vast town!
    O myriad dead in unremembered graves!
    O torrent of the living down Broadway!

  2. Brooklyn Bridge

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    No lifeless thing of iron and stone,
    But sentient, as her children are,
    Nature accepts you for her own,
    Kin to the cataract and the star.

    She marks your vast, sufficing plan,
    Cable and girder, bolt and rod,
    And takes you, from the hand of man,
    As some new handiwork of God.

    You thrill through all your chords of steel
    Responsive to the living sun,
    And quickening in your nerves you feel
    Life with its conscious currents run.

    Your anchorage upbears the march
    Of time and the eternal powers.
    The sky admits your perfect arch.
    The rock respects your stable towers.

  3. Autumn Dusk in Central Park

    by Evelyn Scott

    Featureless people glide with dim motion through a quivering blue silver;
    Boats merge with the bronze-gold welters about their keels.
    The trees float upward in gray and green flames.
    Clouds, swans, boats, trees, all gliding up a hillside
    After some gray old women who lift their gaunt forms
    From falling shrouds of leaves.

    Thin fingered twigs clutch darkly at nothing.
    Crackling skeletons shine.
    Along the smutted horizon of Fifth Avenue
    The hooded houses watch heavily
    With oily gold eyes.

  4. Evening: New York

    by Sara Teasdale

    Blue dust of evening over my city,
    Over the ocean of roofs and the tall towers
    Where the window-lights, myriads and myriads,
    Bloom from the walls like climbing flowers.

  5. The Lights of New York

    by Sara Teasdale

    The lightning spun your garment for the night
    Of silver filaments with fire shot thru,
    A broidery of lamps that lit for you
    The steadfast splendor of enduring light.
    The moon drifts dimly in the heaven's height,
    Watching with wonder how the earth she knew
    That lay so long wrapped deep in dark and dew,
    Should wear upon her breast a star so white.
    The festivals of Babylon were dark
    With flaring flambeaux that the wind blew down;
    The Saturnalia were a wild boy's lark
    With rain-quenched torches dripping thru the town—
    But you have found a god and filched from him
    A fire that neither wind nor rain can dim.

  6. Sunset: Battery Park

    by Evelyn Scott

    From cliffs of houses,
    Sunlit windows gaze down upon me
    Like undeniable eyes,
    Millions of bronze eyes,
    Obliterating all they see:
    The warm contiguous crowd in the street below
    Drifts past those hungry eyes of Eternity,
    Melts seaward and deathward
    To the ocean.

  7. From Brooklyn

    by Evelyn Scott

    Along the shore
    A black net of branches
    Tangles the pulpy yellow lamps.
    The shell-colored sky is lustrous with the fading sun.
    Across the river Manhattan floats—
    Dim gardens of fire—
    And rushing invisible toward me through the fog,
    A hurricane of faces.

  8. The New Colossus

    Unveiling the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World
    by Edward Moran, 1886
    Written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 to raise funds for the Statue of Liberty (completed in 1886), the poem was later engraved on the lower pedastal of the statue in 1903. The statue written about by Lazarus would become one of the most famous symbols of freedom in America, especially significant to immigrants just arriving at New York Harbor and beholding this "land of the free" for the first time.

    Full Text:

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

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