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Hart Crane (1899–1932)

Author of The Complete Poems of Hart Crane

46+ Works 1,738 Members 11 Reviews 21 Favorited

About the Author

Born in Ohio, Hart Crane's early life was filled with change and trauma. His family's many moves and his parents' divorce turned him to writing at age 13. In 1923, Crane moved to New York, where he published his first book of poetry, White Buildings, in 1926. In 1930 he published The Bridge, show more considered by most to be his best work. That same year he won the Levinson Prize from Poetry Magazine; he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1931. Crane's life ended in 1932 when he committed suicide by drowning. He jumped from a ship as he was returning to the United States from a trip to Mexico. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
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Works by Hart Crane

The Bridge (1970) 269 copies
White Buildings (1926) 80 copies
The Poems of Hart Crane (1986) 38 copies
Gefluisterd licht (1996) 12 copies

Associated Works

The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (2000) — Contributor — 1,266 copies
A Pocket Book of Modern Verse (1954) — Contributor, some editions — 446 copies
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology (1992) — Contributor — 393 copies
Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology (2004) — Contributor — 298 copies
The Faber Book of Modern Verse (1936) — Contributor, some editions — 289 copies
Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (1998) — Contributor — 281 copies
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (2006) — Contributor — 163 copies
The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature (1998) — Contributor — 159 copies
The Faber Book of Beasts (1997) — Contributor — 141 copies
A Comprehensive Anthology of American Poetry (1929) — Contributor — 129 copies
Twentieth-Century American Poetry (1777) — Contributor — 98 copies
A Life in Medicine: A Literary Anthology (2002) — Contributor — 82 copies
American Sonnets: An Anthology (2007) — Contributor — 66 copies
The Name of Love: Classic Gay Love Poems (1995) — Contributor — 51 copies
The Ecopoetry Anthology (2013) — Contributor — 49 copies
A Quarto of Modern Literature (1935) — Contributor — 40 copies
Antaeus No. 75/76, Autumn 1994 - The Final Issue (1994) — Contributor — 32 copies
An American Omnibus (1933) — Contributor — 31 copies
Oscar Wilde: A Collection of Critical Essays (1969) — Contributor — 26 copies
The Sculpture of Gaston Lachaise (1967) — Contributor — 21 copies
The Penguin Book of the Ocean (2010) — Contributor — 20 copies
Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology (2022) — Contributor — 16 copies
Tennessee Williams: Die tätowierte Rose — Contributor — 1 copy
The Best of American Poetry [Audio] (1997) — Contributor — 1 copy


19th century (25) 20th century (116) American (84) American literature (148) American poetry (88) anthology (514) collection (32) criticism (31) English (29) English poetry (31) essays (52) fiction (105) France (27) Hart Crane (28) history (21) letters (63) Library of America (165) literary criticism (59) literature (183) LOA (54) modernism (26) New York (57) New York City (22) non-fiction (114) own (28) Paris (36) poems (45) poetic forms (18) poetics (41) poetry (1,984) poetry anthology (56) read (23) reference (60) short stories (30) textbook (19) to-read (197) travel (23) unread (36) USA (27) writing (64)

Common Knowledge



Five stars for Crane's poetry, two for Harold Bloom's BS introduction.

I made the mistake of reading the dreadful Harold Bloom introductory essay first. What a pile of bullshit. It was awful.

I'll give you a taste:

"Crane who suffered forever the curse of sundered parentage, never could settle on a single erotic partner, hence his quest for every sailor in his generation. But I doubt - after reading Paul Mariani, the best of Crane's biographers - that a happy domestic life, and even a steady income, would have saved Crane. No nature could have been less compromising; like a new Byron or Shelley, Crane was a Pilgrim of the Absolute. His quest for agonistic supremacy, against Eliot, to join Whitman, Dickinson, Melville in the American Pantheon. No one can read all of Crane's poetry, across sixty years as I have, [Oh, God] and miss the accents of the Sublime, of the Nietzschean quest for the foremost place.[I'm about gonna die here...] Since Crane is, in his unchurched way, a great religious poet, a Shelleyan myth-maker hymning an Alien God, the tonalities of transcendence [just shoot me] haunt The Bridge and "The Broken Tower," and even the erotic raptures and anguishes of "For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen" and the "Voyages."

There's another beauty but I can't bring myself to type it up. I can't help myself:

Who or what is such a "Thou" in The Bridge? Hart Crane's kind of negative transcendence represents what ought to be called the American Religion, a gnosis endemic in the United States where, for at least two centuries now, religion has been not the opiate, but the poetry of the people. Crane's actual religious heritage was his mother's Christian Science, which never affected him [Why is all this here then?]. In the spiritual exaltation of "The Proem: To Brooklyn Bridge," as in the spiritual anguish of "The Broken Tower," one can hear a mystical yearning that renders Hart Crane akin to St. John of the Cross, in sensibility though not in faith. Crane's deep attachment to William Blake's poetry, and to Emily Dickinson's, reflects his own stance as an autonomous visionary, distrustful of every creed or ideology, yet questing always for intimations of transcendence. [I just wanna puke...]
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Gumbywan | 4 other reviews | Jun 24, 2022 |
Hart Crane loved Melville and read Moby-Dick several times along with his other tales of the sea. This was in the early decades of the twentieth century before Melville was renowned as one of America's greatest authors. Crane had a difficult time getting his trbute, "At Melville's Tomb", published. Harriet Monroe rejected it when he submitted it to her Poetry Magazine and Marianne Moore wanted to change it before publication in the Dial, which she edited. Crane withdrew it, but it was included in White Buildings, his first collection of poetry to be published. When Eugene O'Neill agreed to write a foreward to the collection Boni & Liveright chose to publish it. Ultimately O'Neill backed out, but Allen Tate provided a foreward and Crane's first collection of poetry was printed in book form.… (more)
jwhenderson | 1 other review | Feb 2, 2021 |
This was a surprising collection of poetry by a man besought by his own personal troubles and eventual suicide. The poems are at times lucid, other times evocative of the classics and religious themes. There is a lot of variation and the form was not what I thought it would be upon hearing this book of poetry as a recommendation. Nevertheless, there is something gripping here that stands the test of time- something elusive, phantasmagoric, and daunting. That is the power of this collection and why I enjoyed it. It was challenging and worthwhile.

3.75 stars.
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DanielSTJ | 4 other reviews | Dec 18, 2019 |
In alternating bells have you not heard
All hours clapped dense into a single stride?
Forgive me for an echo of these things,
And let us walk through time with equal pride.

A strange gathering of themes, mythic and maritime funneled through an urban lens. I'm not sure of the desired end.
jonfaith | 1 other review | Feb 22, 2019 |



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