Hart Crane: An Introduction and Interpretation

By Samuel Hazo | Go to book overview

4
FAR ROCKAWAY TO GOLDEN GATE

CRANE'S search in The Bridge is a search for the real American past and also for the lineaments in America's present that will determine her future. The Bridge is appropriately divided into two sections in which each of these aspects of quest is dramatized. The first part of The Bridge from "Ave Maria" through "Cutty Sark" presents the poet's westering search from "Far Rockaway to Golden Gate" for landmarks of America's past, in the land itself as well as in cities, rivers, and ports. Going backward in time as he goes westward in direction, the poet assumes the identities of Columbus, Rip Van Winkle, railroad tramps, and derelict sailors to equate his restless quest with seekers of the past and present. The second part of The Bridge from "Cape Hatteras" to "Atlantis" dramatizes the poet's quest for a synthesis of the conflicting forces within America's present in an effort to create an apocalyptic vision of America's future. From this synopsis it can be seen that the poet's quest in the first part of The Bridge is essentially a spatiotemporal one while his quest in the second part is a spiritual one. Both, however, are realizations not of a historically authentic America but of the real and mythic past as Crane envisioned it, not of the textbook America of the twenties but of an America transformed in Crane's poetic imagination, not of the clairvoyantly accurate America of the future but of an America

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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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