|Photo by Mishkin, New York|
Drawing inspiration from Spoon River Anthology, George Jessel wrote Elegy in Manhattan, transforming Edgar Lee Master's fictional village into the real world of New York entertainment.
"The confiding thoughts of fifty-six glittering guys and gals who once walked the streets of the Big Town."
As in Spoon River, the first poem serves as an introduction:
"Where are Joe and Lew;
Sam Bernard, Foy, Hitchy;
Nat C. Goodwin, and all his lovely wives;
'Terrible Terry,' 'Big John L';
The Frohman brothers, Charles and Dan;
The Shuberts, Lee and Sam?
"Nearly all are resting on
the banks of Manhattan,
Dreaming of how Lillian Russell
looked that New Year's Eve at Delmonico's,
of what Al Smith said
to Murphy that morning in Tammany Hall,
of what Teddy R. said
at Union Square of young Cohan's 'Waving the Flag,'
and of 'dashing Jimmy'
"Nearly all are resting on the banks of the Manhattan."