Bridges, "The Concord Hymn," a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Subthemes: Design, Dramatic Beauty, Transition or Unifier

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem, sung at the opening of the Battle Monument, July 4, 1837, commemorated a simple bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. Six decades before, a homespun structure stood between the muskets of the British regulars and the colonial militia and for a series of volleys became the center of action and inspiration for the colonies. The poem stimulates a few subthemes of Bridges.

Bridges, Additional Subthemes

Subthemes: Famous Bridges, Expressions, World Records

The four sections before this one consider a poem in honor of a skirmish at a bridge, a song likening friendship to a bridge, a World War II movie drama and an Impressionist painting of a railway bridge. Here are a few other subthemes of Bridges.

Bridges, from "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," a song by Simon & Garfunkel

Subthemes: Safety, Lengthy Delays and Obstacles, Suicides

Paul Simon chose as his metaphor for protection, guidance, and comfort a bridge over roiling waters, to represent a stalwart and supportive friend who carries us above the troubles of life. Like a coat gallantly spread on a puddle for a gentlewoman, a friend serves as a bridge over life’s bleak times. On the clip you can hear the song. More subthemes of Bridges come from the emotional lyrics.

Bridges, from "The Bridge Over the River Kwai," a movie by David Lean

Subthemes: Military Significance, Cost, Civilian Collapses

This 1957 movie centers on brutal, forced labor of U.S. and British prisoners of war by Japanese soldiers to construct a vital railroad bridge. In 1942-43, more than 65,000 Allied P.O.W.s battled torture, starvation, and disease to hack a 255-mile railway out of the harsh Thai jungle under killing conditions. The movie suggests several subthemes related to Bridges.

Bridges, from "The Railway Bridge at Argenteuil," a painting by Claude Monet

Subthemes: Speed and Efficiency, Traffic, Engineering Feat

Uncharacteristically for an impressionist painting, Monet emphasized an industrial, concrete-and-metal bridge that carried trains across the Seine River. Located about eight miles outside of Paris and complete a few years before approximately 1871 when Monet painted it, it is one of seven Monet completed that included the bridge. What concepts of Bridges does the painting suggest?