Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Feature

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American Poet, 1807-1882
(Sculptors: Thomas Bell and William Couper, 1909)

Washington is filled with monuments to figures of history and their contributions to the building of America and U.S. conquests in the world. In England, they say you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a vicar. The same could be said here: in Washington, you can't swing a dead politician without hitting a monument. Every corner holds some piece of memorialized history--a plaque, a statue, a nameplate. As the years march on, some memorials are less obvious than perhaps they once were.

Take, for example, this statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It sits on a little island of real estate bounded by Connecticut Avenue, M Street, and 18th Street NW. Why? Why is Longfellow sitting in the middle of a little spit of land where few, but the homeless and drunk, give him more than just a glance? There are many other statues and memorials like this one scattered throughout the city. No doubt, at the time Longfellow's statue was erected in 1909, he was well-remembered and beloved as the greatest American poet. Ever. Still. Why? No doubt Longfellow himself is asking that same question.

To memorialize the memorial, I'm starting a new feature here at D.C. Confidential. I'm tongue-in-cheek calling it "Another Dead Guy Statue Day" and I'll feature pictures of monuments and memorials that aren't as visible and visited, let alone well-known as your Mall-variety memorials.

Here's to dead guys (and the occasional historical gal) and their memorials! Cheers, Henry!

Zip: 20036

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential (Janet M. Kincaid, 08/07)

2 comments:

Tim said...

i toyed with the idea of a post dedicated to women on horses memorials in dc (there's one, and its joan of arc!) or just women's statues (there are several, counting the ones inside of the capitol building).

this may inspire me. yeah, way to many civil war men on horses; or just male statues period!

i love the photography! keep up the good work...

JK said...

Tim: Welcome!

There's a statue of Joan of Arc in DC?!?! Cool!

Actually, I've joked that one day I'm going to get a map of DC and systematically work block by block to take at least one picture of any and every plaque, monument, statue, knick-knack, na-bob, or what-have-you that this city has to commemorate some dead person or days-gone-by and then make it into one of those coffee table books and title it "The Dead Guy Statues of DC."

Of course, saying and doing are two different things. I've lived here six years and I'm only now getting 'round to it.... In other words, I doubt it's gonna happen. But in the meantime, I'm having fun.

Look forward to your pictures!