"Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt;
Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd;
Just as you are refresh'd by the gladness of the river and the bright flow,
 I was refresh'd;
Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift current,
 I stood, yet was hurried;
Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships, and the thick-stem'd pipes of steamboats, I look'd..."
                                                   - Walt Whitman, "Crossing Booklyn Ferry"

  We crossed Staten Island
        ferry, and read Whitman's
poem, with apologies to
                    whose ferry had
but the wind's "song of itself" proved
              even stronger, blowing
      seaward all harbor-bound
words, while we leaned on the rail,
              "stood still, yet were hurried,"
         thinking of him who once did
the same, leaning over to watch
   the parting of waters,
               as the ferry forged onward          
         to ship-fringed

Whitman/Thoreau Independent Studies Class
Fungwah Field Trip to New York City
June 3, 2003

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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