by Patrick J. Burns (Grade 4.5/5, 4:00)
I loved well those cities… for narrator and band, was commissioned by The Goldman Memorial Band, Dr. C. Christian Wilhjelm, Director, and is based on excerpts of Walt Whitman’s poem Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. Originally written in 1856 (revised 1881) the poem is at once a reflective and sensuous work, full of Whitman’s detailed impressions of the landscape of Manhattan and Brooklyn as seen from a ferry boat on the East River. Whitman offers his intensely personal observations to people not yet born, to generations “a hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence”, of the beauty of his New York. Whitman informs us that the joys we receive from our senses in observing a sunrise, or being part of a crowd, or watching ships sailing on a river were the same joys experienced by him ages ago. The poem is a fascinating tribute to cities everywhere and to the timelessness of the human spirit.