Hart Crane: An Introduction and Interpretation

By Samuel Hazo | Go to book overview

2
NEW PURITIES

MOST of the critics who admire Crane's poetry are unanimously high in their praise of his lyrical talent. And even those critics who have reservations about Crane's achievement as an American poet are usually willing to concede that he has written a durable number of short poems or that certain parts and lines of The Bridge are notable lyrical moments.

Crane's versatility as a lyric poet in his first published book, White Buildings, is best examined and most readily seen in stages. The first stage would include those relatively simple poems which reveal a strong influence of the Imagists. Crane's purpose in these poems is the evocation of a single, dominant mood through the use of sensation-creating tropes, as in "Legend," "My Grandmother's Love Letters," "Garden Abstract," "In Shadow," "The Fernery," "North Labrador," "Pastorale," and "Sunday Morning Apples." Included in the second stage are those poems in which Crane is indebted to the Elizabethans and the French Symbolists, as well as the Imagists. These are poems like "Black Tambourine" and "Stark Major" where Crane's imagistic ability fuses with the careful conceits of the Elizabethans and the rapid, symbolic transitions characteristic of Laforgue, Mallarmé and Rimbaud. The third stage represents the fullest realization of Crane's lyrical talent. The influences of the Imagists, the Elizabethans and the French Symbolists are still apparent, but they are integrated into and transcended by an idiom that is unmistakably Crane's own.

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Hart Crane: An Introduction and Interpretation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • About the Author i
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Chronology viii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Life 4
  • 2 - New Purities 17
  • 3 - Knowledge, Beauty and the Sea 48
  • 4 - Far Rockaway to Golden Gate 68
  • 6 - The Broken World 124
  • 7 - Beneath the Myth 133
  • Selected Bibliography 136
  • Index 142
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