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Issue 3.1

The Speed of Urbanizing

In his poem “Papa’s Bridge,” Richard Blanco, inaugural poet and civil engineer, shares how a bridge was impressed upon his life. Blanco first viewed the bridge from his father’s hospital room where, as a child, he spent days by his father’s side. The bridge signifies Blanco’s father’s dream of his son becoming an engineer. Blanco’s commute over the bridge brings him reminders of his father’s love and loss. The bridge’s meaning grows as Blanco does, and the memory of the bridge accompanies Blanco through his life. Importantly, this poem reminds us how urban infrastructure shapes our daily human existence.

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