Sunday, January 18, 2009

going uptown to visit miriam

I love looking at maps of NYC neighborhoods, staring up at skyscrapers, and wandering around the city aimlessly. I've heard about the WPA Guides, but never owned one until now. **Thanks, Tut-Tut!** It's very interesting. (I'll show some of the inside next weekend.) The first time I heard about WPA guides was when Steinbeck mentioned them in his book Travels with Charley. He owned a full set of them, and often wished he'd brought them along on his journey.

just wanted to share my favorite nyc poem with you, i know there are many nyc poems, but this one is my personal favorite and has been since high school.

this one
is my


going uptown to visit miriam by Victor Hernandez Cruz

that line ...i hope i don't see sonia on the street... makes me smile every time. every time i read this poem i'm there on the train.

Born in 1949, Cruz moved to NYC at age 5 from Puerto Rico. He began writing poetry as a child and had his first collection of poems published in the 1960's. A Nuyorican (New York Puerto Rican) he began using what is now referred to as "Spanglish" in his writings very early on.


R.L. Bourges said...

oh, loved the poem
the line you mention
and also the white walls dark-
ness white walls dark-

could almost feel the rythm of the train, reading that.

Thanks for the intro to Cruz, and the link to his website.

rabbi lars said...

pretty pages

tut-tut said...

I love that poem; it is just like RLB and you say. He gets it, riding on the subway. especially the dark/light dark/light. I'd never heard of him.

John Cheever had a hand in that WPA Guide, as did . . . I can't remember! James Baldwin, I think. So many writers and artists were given an opportunity to earn money and put some food in their mouths with the WPA series. I love them. Look out for them, espec. 1st eds. WITH THE MAP!

Charles Bucket!!! Imagine.

LKD said...

What a wonderful poem.

I love encountering a poem that I've never met before.

This one is also a tutor--the line breaks are so odd yet so effective.

I smiled when I got to the Sonia line too.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

And thanks for sharing this poem.

e said...

Thanks, Avid, for the wonderful introduction to Victor Hernandez Cruz! I wish we could ressurect the WPA, we certainly need it!

Mickey,Georgia , Tillie said...

That is a neat poem :) I like it!
I do not like our winter so far. It is snowing tonight and the wing is blowing it sideways!!! It will turn to rain so that should make a fine mess. At least the extreme cold is over ;)

tut-tut said...

Charles Bucket?! Richard, off course. Where did that come from?

Megan said...

I had never seen this poem before, so thank you. I liked it very much!

Barbara said...

I can identify with all those thoughts about where everyone is going. I go through a similar litany when I ride the Metro. I find the layout and format of this poem curious. I wonder what he was trying to achieve?

Avid Reader said...

Well, I see the influence of the beat poets and e e cummings , and I would guess some others, I'm not sure how old he was when he wrote this one, his first poems were published when he was about 20. The layout and format for me captures very much how our thoughts come, especially when we're young.

Anonymous said...

Like most poets I think he was trying to "achieve" self expression that others would understand, and he achieved it. Bravo I salute him!

My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)