Greenpoint, October, 2015

Monday, January 20, 2014

High Wire Acts

Harry Callahan's photographs of telephone wires. You can see some at the Pace/MacGill Gallery (and a few online here).
1945-76 (Pace/MacGill)
Wires in the countryside are never still :
between each pole they rise, dreaming upward
till each pole breaks their dream
and snaps them rudely back again to earth.
                Rise and fall.
                Rise, snap down and rise dreaming
against the early sky   patterns of wires
change their spatial relationships
parallel shifting lines streaming
crossing down the sky contract and open

"Song of the Wires," Paul Blackburn (1956)

Add 1945 (MoMA)
Yes. Christ. I am suffering a summer Christmas; and I cannot walk under the wires. The sparrows scatter like handfuls of gravel. Really, wires are voices in thin strips.

In the Heart of the Heart of the Country, William Gass (1968)

1945-76 (Pace/MacGill)

He let it ring. No signal or wire could convey what he had to tell her.

Death of the Black-Haired Girl, Robert Stone (2013)


  1. There is a rather magnificent and moving depiction of telephone lines, down which we are invited to imagine a message being conveyed, in the Frank Borzage film, Three Comrades (the only film a script credit for F. Scott Fitzgerald).

    1. Thanks for the film tip, James. I'll check it out. Kieslowski uses the same technique with underground cables in Red.