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Voices & Visions

Hart Crane

Diverse locations and dramatizations of his life illustrate Crane's poetry and his greatest work, "The Bridge."

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Hart Crane’s reputation rests primarily on his extraordinary craftsmanship and sweeping vision. In The Bridge, Crane set out to write an American epic that unified past and present, East and West, myth and reality. Crane’s poetic vision, based on views that alcoholic and sexual excesses were a way to achieve a perception of unity of all things, led to self-destructive behavior, and his short, turbulent life ended in suicide.

Additional Resources

Academy of American Poets

Read some of Crane’s poetry, including “To Brooklyn Bridge” and “Chaplinesque,” a concise Crane biography, and a short explanation of modernism.

New York University School of Medicine’s Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database

Can the simple act of bandaging another person’s injured hand create a powerful bond? Crane’s “Episode of Hands,” which deals with just such a situation, is summarized and annotated at this NYU site.

Hart Crane Papers

“I got so I simply gagged every time I sat before my desk to write an ad,” Crane says in a letter to a friend, announcing his resignation from his advertising job. You’ll find many similarly interesting quotes in Kent State University Libraries & Media Services’ inventory of Crane’s papers, a rich and fascinating source of information about the poet.

Kobe University: Hart Crane

Crane said that The Bridge concerned “a mystical symbolism of ‘America.'” Michael Eiichi Hishikawa, associate professor of English at Kobe University, presents helpful notes and interlinear readings of the poem, along with biographical and bibliographical information on Crane.

Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Along with a catalog of the Library’s Hart Crane Collection, this site contains concise biographical information about Crane. The collection consists of the bequests of four Crane scholars, including ads written by Crane, and miscellaneous Crane correspondence.