Weekend Words: Bridge

Giuseppe Bernardino Bison, “Landscape with Figures and a Bridge” (n.d.). Tempera on parchment, 32 x 45 cm. Private collection. (Image via Web Gallery of Art)

This week, big bridge news: the replacement for the Tappan Zee will begin construction by the end of the year, and the longest bridge in New York State will, at eight lanes, become one of the widest in the world.

(You thought we were going to talk about the other one?)

“Crime seems to change character when it crosses a bridge or a tunnel. In the city, crime is taken as emblematic of class and race. In the suburbs, though, it’s intimate and psychological — resistant to generalization, a mystery of the individual soul.”

—Barbara Ehrenreich

“They [the poor] have to labor in the face of the majestic equality of the law, which forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

—Anatole France, The Red Lily

“There is nothing in machinery, there is nothing in embankments and railways and iron bridges and engineering devices to oblige them to be ugly. Ugliness is the measure of imperfection.”

—H. G. Wells

“A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.”

—T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

“I am seeking for the bridge which leans from the visible to the invisible through reality.”

—Max Beckmann

“Twenty men crossing a bridge,
Into a village,
Are twenty men crossing twenty bridges,
Into twenty villages,
Or one man
Crossing a single bridge into a village.”

—Wallace Stevens

“About five nights a week, Zach Pierce says he drives his truck over Lake Springfield’s Vachel Lindsay Bridge and unloads his fishing boat at the ramp on the bridge’s east end. Before today, that trip took about 10 minutes, he said. With the bridge now closed for restoration until early November, the driving time will double, he said.”

—State Journal Register, Springfield, Ill.

“I’m not planning to jump off a bridge with no bungee.”

—Norah Jones

“Bobby! Should I take ‘em to the bridge?
(Go ahead!)
Take ‘em to the bridge!
(Take ‘em to the bridge!)
Should I take ‘em to the bridge?
Take ‘em to the bridge!
(Go ahead!)
Hit me now!”

—James Brown, Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine Pt. 1

“When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.”

—Dylan Thomas

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