Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bridge Collapse

I have been thinking about the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis. I recently wrote about the Golden Gate Bridge and have been reading and reviewing Hart Crane's great poem, "The Bridge." Crane's poem heralded the wonders of the bridge. Even so, it was a symbol to him of humankind's Faustian urges. Both of these ideas seem relevant to the time Crane was writing, in the early days of the 20th Century. Now in the early days of the 21st Century we are made to understand that a vast number of bridges in the U.S. are structurally unsound.

If the bridge stood for wonder and Faustian urges nearly a hundred years ago, what does the bridge symbolize today?

3 comments:

Erin said...

That is an interesting question, and I'll be thinking about it.

am said...

I have this on the side of my refrigerator, where I can see it while I am preparing meals, and am giving some thought as to how it relates to your question about the symbolism of bridges:

Love Is the Bridge:

"Soon we shall die and all memory of those we have known will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.

Source: "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" by Thornton Wilder, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1928

SqueakyChu said...

My dad never trusted bridges. When I was a kid and we'd go from Baltimore to Atlantic City for vacation, my dad was seriously thinking of driving around the whole Chesapeake Bay simply to avoid driving over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. In light of what happened in Minneapolis, he might have been on the right track! :-)

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