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Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Summary & Analysis
by Walt Whitman

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"Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" is Walt Whitman's reflection on the glory of the shared human experience. Crossing New York's East River one day, the poem's speaker is struck by the realization that the people of the past, present, and future are all deeply connected: one day, long after the speaker's gone, other people will stand just where he's standing, with the same thoughts and feelings he's having right now. Because all of humanity shares in existence and experience, this speaker joyfully concludes, no one is ever really alone: neither time nor space can truly separate people from each other. This poem first appeared in the 1856 second edition of Whitman's masterpiece, Leaves of Grass.

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