From The Bridges That Hart Crane Left RSS

From The Bridges That Hart Crane Left

21 April, 2015: From The Bridges That Hart Crane Left


by Nina Freedlander Gibans
From The Bridges That Hart Crane Left
   Dedicated to Alberta Turner

     “city forms (are) more beautiful because they were never meant to be beautiful
        – Margaret Bourke White

Born in the moonlight, this would be home
Bonfires, beach-brush, clearings for homesteads

A chrysalis for handcrafting
and making a city.
The moon hung onto this place
and blessed it with half eye on water
river calming lake waves after the bend.
Portage from canal to canal criss-crossing distances
carrying dreams over trails. Paths became streets
Euclid, Woodland to Lake Erie. A small plaque speaks:
    “The meeting of the Portage Trail and the Buffalo Trail”
    “HERE, hear!”

                                Not easy on the Cuyahoga
                                strangers and natives
                                barter for corn, barter
                                first neighborhoods
These are the bridges that Hart Crane left
these shapes a museum of forms
piercing skies black on grey or blue
some slight movement, a slight sideways shift (or is it the wind?),
some levered up and down,
some untouchable — invisible cases preserving them
too heavy to move; saved by imagined energy
of the truckloads of heavy raw materials.

This passage of “The Bridges That Hart Crane Left Behind” by Nina Freedlander Gibans appeared in Cleveland Poetry Scenes. Bottom Dog Press, 2008. Used by permission of the author.

Nina Freedlander Gibans has read in bars, coffee houses, bookstores, museums, libraries and schools.  She co-edited Cleveland Poetry Scenes: A Panorama and Anthology (Bottom Dog Press, 2008) and has just published Cleveland Goes Modern: Designs for the Home: 1930-1970 (Kent State University Press, 2014). Her fifth film, University Circle: Creating a Sense of Place appeared on WVIZideastream public television in 2014. She has been married more than 59 years and raised four children. See her website for more.


Greater Clevelanders can be interesting subjects for poems.

Gibans has written about Hart Crane’s bridges. Try your hand at writing a poem about Langston Hughes’ childhood home in Cleveland, Rita Dove’s life in Akron, Vachel Lindsay’s student life at Hiram, David Citino’s St. Ignatius High School football team, or the place of any other Cleveland poet. The Cleveland Poetry Archive will yield information to guide your imagination, and a book by the poet will provide even more.
JJ Stickney
What a terrific poem, Alberta Turner would be so pleased.
4/21/2015 9:15:37 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.