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Poetic Praise for Louis Kahn's FDR Four Freedoms Park

The long-awaited FDR Four Freedoms Park will be officially opening in less than two weeks, four decades after architect Louis Kahn finished the plans. Much like the Times archicritic, Bloomberg's critic James Russell praises the new memorial, saying "it brings fantastic life to the long-neglected site at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island." We've turned his flowery prose into a free verse poem, for the latest installment of "Rhyme Time with James Russell." Enjoy:

The four-acre FDR Four Freedoms Park,
More than a pleasurable promenade.

Subtle and dignified homage to the president,
Bookended by sloping granite slabs,
it rises just 12 feet to the top of a massive berm,
it evokes Romantic Classicism of the French Enlightenment.

A tidy downward-sloping lawn,
Symmetrically lined by linden trees,
Delicately screen the city views.
A bust depicting a serene Roosevelt,
Floats within a granite niche.

A roofless room,
evoking an unfinished classical temple.
The high sides leave you in a calm, austere space,
frames the sky overhead
and the swirling river waters winding their way to the sea.

Kahn asks you to stop and think.
A visit needn't be dutiful.
Drink in the views,
the waterside promenade that wraps the earth mound.
Gaze on a rocky islet where cormorants dry their wings and seals occasionally sun.
Kahn has captured an essence of Roosevelt?and of New York City.
· Kahn's Memorial to FDR Finally Finds Home in East River [Bloomberg]
· FDR Four Freedoms Park coverage [Curbed]
· Rhyme Time With James Russell [Curbed]