Death sounds his reply in ominous though seductive undertones. So says he:
“Give me your hand, you lovely and tender form / I am a friend, and come not to punish / Be of good cheer! I am not savage, / Softly shall you slumber in mine arms.”
He states his case calmly but emphatically, accompanied by the same ominous theme we heard on piano, at the beginning of the journey. Midway through his song, the key changes to F Major, becoming hopeful, optimistic.
The elegiac landscape mirrors the calm and hopefulness of Death’s refrain. Here we see skyscrapers and pieces of public art, silhouetted against a clear blue sky, dappled with clouds. Death itself is omnipresent, in the form of the imposing One WTC tower, which dominates sightlines.
The Tower is impossibly beautiful – its glass facades reflect the sky and often cause the Tower itself to almost “fade” into the cloudscape. However, its very existence is testament that here, on this very place one is passing through, thousands of innocents plunged to their deaths, or were burnt alive one afternoon, on the 11th of September, 2001.
May they rest in peace.
Because Liberty Street cuts through the WTC site itself, one must make a detour along Greenwich Street and Albany Street, where the entrance to the 9/11 Memorial sits, regaining Liberty Street on the other side of the WTC site.
(For information on specific buildings on Liberty Street, I am indebted to the awesome New York Songlines: Virtual Walking Tours of Manhattan Streets, at http://www.nysonglines.com)
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