During a recent stroll in Fort Tryon Park, in Upper Manhattan, I spotted a green placard emerging from a tuft of purple flowers. Its white letters read:
Let no one say, and say it to your shame,
That all was beauty here, until you came.
I was enchanted to find a park sign filled with poetry rather than the usual mishmash of information, rules, and thinly veiled threats. And such doting poetry: the park, the sign implied, had not been entirely beautiful without me. (I never mind a compliment, even when it comes from an inanimate object.)
The lines were unattributed, and, like the recipient of a note from a secret admirer, I yearned to discover the writer’s identity.