“Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” – Shumaila

“Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” is basically a poem about a man standing on a ferry between Brooklyn and Manhattan and observing the view from both sides. He sees the sun and clouds, and refers to them as “you”. The crowds of men and women evokes his curiosity. He begins to wonder about how they will be traveling on the same ferry, taking on the same commute for years to come. He draws a comparison between the people on the ferry and the tides of the ocean. Even in fifty or hundred years, there will still be a steady rush of people on the ferry just like the ocean tides will continue to flow.

The speaker then explained every detail of the ferry, and related all the observations to what the reader may have seen had they ever been on the boat. The speaker goes on to paint a vivid picture of what exactly the reader would see, like the flags of all nations, ¬†or the chimneys burning in the sky. He saw “a reflection of the summer sky in the water”, making the reader picture looking down from a boat seeing the sky’s reflection in the ocean water.

He then went on to discuss the things he did in his life as though we were there with him. He related it to the reader when he consistently said throughout the whole fifth stanza, “I too did…” He pointed out how he had some dark times in his life, when he was dishonest, greedy, and adulterous. After he finishes his confession, he went back to explaining the tides crashing. Once again, he looked out to the people and thought about how the crowd of people will always be there in the years to come. He explained that life will continue to go on, and that this ferry will always be transporting passengers between Brooklyn and Manhattan.