Poem: New York - Manhatten - The Apple

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Poem: New York - Manhattan - The Apple


Workshop on Writing Lives

run by Dr Kelly Grovier

Albert Hans - assignment #2,
slightly altered after submitting it to discussion in class


New York
The Apple


The apple of what?

Part of my eyes,

A world opening up onto me?

Gateway to Heaven on Earth?

Promised land of opportunities and dreams sure to come true?


Of anticipations and Dickensian expectations?

Epitome of the/a new world!

Shaping & framing minds!

Melting-pot of hunchbacked littlemen,

Land of the free, democracy and pepsi coke in eternity?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

New York, this place of songs and praise

With hopes rising high

I couldn’t see the sky.

Shrouded in a disarray of endless avenues

Where misery and fortune meet

There is no need for me to think

What might alleviate my fears

And apprehensions of what is to come

‘Cause what lies ahead

Is not just dead.


When morning rises on Fifth Avenue

The City is coming to life again.

With people rushing past each other

There is no time to stop and wait,

Let alone communicate.


All I can see in this multi-ethnicity

Is chivalrous struggle on a quest for identity.

With the dew pearling from some buds in this avenue

I discern a Tower of Babel – nameless, unrelated – a world of people and events.

And all of a sudden it dawns upon me:

This is not Germany,

Identity in organically grown history,

Based on language and a frame of mind

Which we call mentality.