Poems about Brooklyn obviously aren’t lost in translation for comic actor Bill Murray.
The legendary star of stage, screen and “Saturday Night Live” walked across the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday night, reciting works that pay homage to our borough as part of the 15th annual “Poetry Walk.”
With the bridge and East River as his backdrop, Murray entertained a crowd of about 300 people with Yonkers-native Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s classic “A Coney Island From the Mind,” Allen Ginsberg’s “Supermarket in California” and Denise Levertov’s “The Rights.”
Murray has made prior appearances at the Brooklyn poetry event.
“He’s a big fan of poems and literature,” said Suzanne Weise, a spokeswoman for Poets House, which organized the walk and readings. “He’s been to our events a few times.”
With his son and gal pal at his side, Murray was nothing like the odd-ball characters he in portrayed in movies such as “Caddyshack” (but then, that’s probably a good thing). In anticipation of the arduous walk across the fabled span, Murray first stretched his 59-year-old legs, then chatted with fellow attendees and even signed an elderly woman’s leg cast.
Other noteworthy participants included the borough’s poet laureate Tina Chang and poet Galway Kinnell, who may have stolen the show with his reading of his idol (and one-time Brooklyn resident) Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” at the Fulton Ferry Landing.
And let’s not fail to put in a plug for our editor’s favorite poet, Vladimir Mayakovsky, whose poem, “Brooklyn Bridge,” a tribute and an attack on capitalism, was also read (even the part where Mayakovsky mixed up the Hudson and the East rivers. What are ya gonna do with these Soviets?).