The Untold Want The untold want by life and land neâ€™er granted, Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find.
After 9 /11
Photographs by R O G E R A RV I D A N D E R S O N
With poems by WA LT W H I T M A N
THE FISHER PRESS
Foreword History happens, and not only does it happen to others, it happens to us. By “us” I refer to the proverbial you and me. In the early years of television in the 1950s, Walter Cronkite was the host of a program called You Are There. The series featured dramatic recreations of key events in American and World History. Seated at his anchor desk in a suit and tie, Cronkite would report on the action and then interview characters like George Washington. At the end of the program he would turn to the television audience and remind them, “What sort of day was it? A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times . . . and you were there.” And now we are there. Over the last fifty years, starting with the live coverage of the Kennedy assassination in 1963, television news has replaced newspaper headlines as the medium of the moment. With the introduction of the internet and cell-phones, that time gap has continued to shrink. The events of September 11th, 2001, will certainly be remembered as a national tragedy, but also as an event witnessed by the world, much of it as it was happening. We all became participants in a grim but astounding reality show in which hijacked planes smashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Fast-acting heroes prevented another plane from hitting the White House; not only was the nation shocked, it was watching. . . Like many Americans, I saw the twin towers burn and collapse on a television set. I had just turned 55 and was visiting my family home in Minnesota. When I returned to my apartment in San Francisco, I became aware of the rippling effect that 9/11 was having on the emotions of the country. Overnight, ordinary Americans were putting up spontaneous placards and memorials to those who had lost and sacrificed their lives. As a photographer long interested in capturing images of life on the street, I decided to document these heartfelt responses from a national perspective. For over a year, I packed two cameras and wore out three pairs of shoes as I walked America’s cities, towns and villages from Provincetown on Cape Cod, to Boston on the Charles, Norwich on the Connecticut, Manhattan on the Hudson, Philadelphia on the Delaware, Chadds Ford on the Brandywine, Washington on the Potomac, Saint Paul on the Mississippi, Telegraph Hill on San Francisco Bay, Hollywood on the Sunset and Santa Monica on the Pier. . . in short, from sea to shining sea. In my effort to illuminate that historical moment, I recorded thousands of pictures on black and white film. I’m not sure when I realized that Walt
Whitman had his hand on my shoulder, but from the moment I read his poem Mannahatta, I realized that his magnum opus Leaves of Grass, which had been written as a memorial to the Civil War, had the transcendental power to speak to our times as well. From the horrors of the battlefields at Gettysburg to the terrors of 9/11, it has remained our duty to stir the embers of compassion that flicker like so many stars in these stormy, violent times. I soon discovered on my long journey across the country that you could not aim a camera without finding a flag. Old Glory proved to be the one common but mighty thread that united the country as we mourned the dead, saluted the brave and reaffirmed our enduring commitment to the ideals of freedom. As a first focus volume drawn from my many images of America after 9/11, this salute to Mannahatta means to do just that. â€”Roger Arvid Anderson
Mannahatta I was asking for something specific and perfect for my city, Whereupon, lo! upsprang the aboriginal name. Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly, musical, self-sufficient, I see that the word of my city is that word of old, Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb, Rich, hemm’d thick all around with sailships and steamships, an island sixteen miles long, solid-founded, Numberless crowded streets, high growths of iron, slender, strong, light, splendidly uprising toward clear skies, Tides swift and ample, well-loved by me, toward sundown, The flowing sea-currents, the little islands, larger adjoining islands, the heights, the villas, The countless masts, the white shore-steamers, the lighters, the ferry-boats, the black sea-steamers well-model’d, The down-town streets, the jobbers’ houses of business, the houses of business of the ship-merchants and money-brokers, the river-streets, Immigrants arriving, fifteen or twenty thousand in a week, The carts hauling goods, the manly race of drivers of horses, the brown-faced sailors, The summer air, the bright sun shining, and the sailing clouds aloft, The winter snows, the sleigh-bells, the broken ice in the river, passing along up or down with the flood tide or ebb-tide, The mechanics of the city, the masters, well-form’d, beautiful– faced, looking you straight in the eyes, Trottoirs throng’d, vehicles, Broadway, the women, the shops and shows, A million people—manners free and superb—open voices— hospitality—the most courageous and friendly young men, City of hurried and sparkling waters! the city of spires and masts! The city nested in bays! my city!
Broadway What hurrying human tides, or day or night! What passions, winnings, losses, ardors, swim thy waters! What whirls of evil, bliss and sorrow, stem thee! What curious questioning glances—glints of love! Leer, envy, scorn, contempt, hopes, aspiration! Thou portal—thou arena—thou of the myriad long-drawn lines and groups! (Could but thy flagstones, curbs, facades, tell their inimitable tales; Thy windows rich, and huge hotels—thy side-walks wide;) Thou of the endless sliding, mincing, shuffling feet! Thou, like the parti-colored world itself—like infinite, teeming, mocking life! Thou visor’d, vast, unspeakable show and lesson!
A Noiseless Patient Spider A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d, where on a little promontory it stood, isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant, vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my soul.
Eighteen Sixty–one Arm’d year—year of the struggle, No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you terrible year, Not you as some pale poetling, seated at a desk, lisping cadenzas piano, But as a strong man, erect, clothed in blue clothes, advancing, carrying a rifle on your shoulder, With well-gristled body and sunburnt face and hands, with a knife in the belt at your side, As I heard you shouting loud, your sonorous voice ringing across the continent, Your masculine voice O year, as rising amid the great cities, Amid the men of Manhattan I saw you, as one of the workmen, the dwellers in Manhattan, Or with large steps crossing the prairies out of Illinois and Indiana, Rapidly crossing the West with springy gait, and descending the Alleghenies, Or down from the great lakes, or in Pennsylvania, or on deck along the Ohio river, Or southward along the Tennessee or Cumberland rivers, or at Chattanooga on the mountain top, Saw I your gait and saw I your sinewy limbs, clothed in blue, bearing weapons, robust year, Heard your determin’d voice, launch’d forth again and again, Year that suddenly sang by the mouths of the round-lipp’d cannon, I repeat you, hurrying, crashing, sad, distracted year.
Weave in, My Hardy Life Weave in, weave in, my hardy life, Weave yet a soldier strong and full for great campaigns to come, Weave in red blood, weave sinews in like ropes, the senses, sight weave in, Weave lasting sure, weave day and night the weft, the warp, incessant weave, tire not, (We know not what the use O life, nor know the aim, the end, nor really aught we know, But know the work, the need goes on and shall go on, the deathâ€“ envelopâ€™d march of peace as well as war goes on,) For great campaigns of peace the same the wiry threads to weave, We know not why or what, yet weave, forever weave.
How Solemn as One by One How solemn, as one by one, As the ranks returning, all worn and sweaty, as the men file by where I stand, As the faces the masks appear, as I glance at the faces, studying the masks, (As I glance upward out of this page, studying you, dear friend, whoever you are,) How solemn the thought of my whispering soul to each in the ranks, and to you, I see behind each mask that wonder a kindred soul, O the bullet could never kill what you really are, dear friend, Nor the bayonet stab what you really are; The soul! yourself I see, great as any, good as the best, Waiting secure and content, which the bullet could never kill, Nor the bayonet stab O friend.
Long, Too Long America Long, too long America, Traveling roads all even and peaceful, you learnâ€™d from joys and prosperity only, But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing, grappling with direst fate and recoiling not, And now to conceive, and show to the world, what your children en-masse really are, (For who except myself has yet conceivâ€™d what your children enmasse really are?)
Thick–Sprinkled Bunting Thick sprinkled bunting! flag of stars! Long yet your road, fateful flag!—long yet your road, and lined with bloody death, For the prize I see at issue at last is the world, All its ships and shores I see interwoven with your threads greedy banner; Dream’d again the flags of kings, highest borne, to flaunt unrival’d? O hasten, flag of man—O with sure and steady step, passing highest flags of kings, Walk supreme to the heavens mighty symbol—run up above them all, Flag of stars! thick sprinkled bunting!
Song of the Banner at Daybreak O banner, not money so precious are you, not farm produce you, nor the material good nutriment, Nor excellent stores, nor landed on wharves from the ships, Not the superb ships with sail-power or steam-power, fetching and carrying cargoes, Nor machinery, vehicles, trade, nor revenues—but you as henceforth I see you, Running up out of the night, bringing your cluster of stars, (ever enlarging stars,) Divider of day-break you, cutting the air, touch’d by the sun, measuring the sky, (Passionately seen and yearn’d for by one poor little child, While others remain busy, or smartly talking, forever teaching thrift, thrift;) O you up there! O pennant! where you undulate like a snake hissing so curious, Out of reach, an idea only, yet furiously fought for, risking bloody death, loved by me, So loved—O you banner leading the day with stars brought from the night! Valueless, object of eyes, over all and demanding all—(absolute owner of all)—O banner and pennant! I too leave the rest—great as it is, it is nothing—houses, machines are nothing—I see them not, I see but you, O warlike pennant! O banner so broad, with stripes, I sing you only, Flapping up there in the wind.
The Mystic Trumpeter (Excerpt) Now, trumpeter for thy close, Vouchsafe a higher strain than any yet, Sing to my soul, renew its languishing faith and hope, Rouse up my slow belief, give me some vision of the future, Give me for once its prophecy and joy. O glad, exulting, culminating song! A vigor more than earth’s is in thy notes, Marches of victory—man disenthrall’d—the conqueror at last, Hymns to the universal God from universal Man—all joy! A reborn race appears—a perfect world, all joy! Women and men in wisdom, innocence and health—all joy! Riotous laughing bacchanals fill’d with joy! War, sorrow, suffering gone—the rank earth purged—nothing but joy left! The ocean fill’d with joy—the atmosphere all joy! Joy! joy! in freedom, worship, love! joy in the ecstasy of life! Enough to merely be! enough to breathe! Joy! joy! all over joy!
I Hear America Singing I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, Those of mechanics, each one singing his, as it should be blithe and strong, The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work, The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck, The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands, The wood-cutterâ€™s song, the ploughboyâ€™s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown, The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing, Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else, The day what belongs to the dayâ€”at night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
Miracles Why, who makes much of a miracle? As to me I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water, Or stand under trees in the woods, Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, Or sit at table at dinner with the rest, Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon, Or animals feeding in the fields, Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright, Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring; These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, The whole referring, yet each distinct, and in its place. To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every cubic inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Every foot of the interior swarms with the same. To me the sea is a continual miracle, The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?
I Dream’d in a Dream I dream’d in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth, I dream’d that was the new city of Friends, Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love, it led the rest, It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city, And in all their looks and words.
MANNAHATTA, After 9/11 Photographs by Roger Arvid Anderson with poems by Walt Whitman First Printing, January, 2015
This book was designed, mastered and printed by Christopher Benson at THE FISHER PRESS in Santa Fe, New Mexico Text set in Didot and printed on an Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer using the Ultrachrome Inkset which has been formulated for longevity Bound at Hands On Bookbinding by Priscilla Spitler Copyright Roger Arvid Anderson and The Fisher Press, 2015 Cover art ÂŠ Eric Brown, Fragment (2013-14) courtesy of the artist. Private collection
Now available from Fisher Press in Santa Fe MANNAHATTA, After 9/11... a hand-bound, hard cover, archival ink-printed volume of 66 photograph...
Published on Jun 9, 2015
Now available from Fisher Press in Santa Fe MANNAHATTA, After 9/11... a hand-bound, hard cover, archival ink-printed volume of 66 photograph...