An extract from the narrative poem by Robin Robertson.

And there it was: the swell
and glitter of it like a standing wave –
the fabled, smoking ruin, the new towers rising
through the blue,
the ranked array of ivory and gold, the glint,
the glamour of buried light
as the world turned round it
very slowly
this autumn morning, all amazed.

And it stayed there, watching,
as they made toward it,
the truck-driver and the young man,
under pylons, wires, utility poles,
past warehouses, container parks,
deserted lots, between the long
oily marshes, landfill sites and swamps,
before slipping down
under the Hudson, and coming up
on the other side
to find a black wetness
of streets trashed and empty
and the city gone.

Video credits:
Voiceover by Andre le Brocquy
Editing by Paul Martinovic
Features an excerpt from 'The Exiles' (1961) by Kent Mackenzie. Copyright Milestone Films - buy the DVD here