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Quite a span

The Brooklyn Bridge is a hundred years old today, and we're desperately trying not to say that a lot of water has gone under it. But we're not going to resist the celebration of the bridge by Vladimir Mayakovsky, the poet of revolutionary Russia who stood amazed at what free enterprise had wrought in this magnificent structure (even if he had a few other observations about America, too). He imagined geologists of the future recreating the contemporary world from the Brooklyn Bridge, ''as huge ancient lizards/ are rebuilt/ from bones/ finer than needles,/ to tower in museums.''

When Mayakovsky wrote, someone else was in the White House. But his tribute still has a ring that some guest ought to remember at today's festivities: ''Give, Coolidge,/ a shout of joy!/ I too will spare no words/ about good things.''

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