Talk:Hart Crane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


This page needs a lot of critical scrutiny. As the page stands, the information reads anywhere from naive to untrue: "Setting himself against the modernist poetic ideals represented by T.S. Eliot, Crane wrote poetry that was traditional in form, obscure and often archaic in language, and which sought to affirm an optimistic approach to modern American life."
First, Crane's relationship cannot simply be said "against" Eliot, let alone Eliot's "modernist poetic ideals," (a phrase I find totally baffling in clarity and reference)(This phrase is incredibly arrogant.). Eliot's poetic ideals, with its resonance for the Elizabeth playwrights in vocabulary and Metaphysical poetry in its priority of wit over sentiment, these are in fact ideals that Crane himself synthesized and demonstrated to a greater capacity than any of the followers of Eliot. Nice Namedropping.
While I can accept "which sought to affirm an optimistic approach to modern American life," this is true, I think this too needs to be fleshed out in the article, and this sentence "traditional in form, obscure and often archaic in language" while 'glancing' upon characteristics of Crane's verse seems to be dangerously misleading - obscurantism and archaism are two things Crane deplored even as his some readers believed he verged upon, or simply was.
Generally speaking, the page needs to be divided (as other author pages are) into life and works, with more attention focused to specific works of Crane that helped established his legitimacy as one of the foremost American poets that have ever written. This would include "To Brooklyn Bridge," "Repose of Rivers," "Voyages" (the entire sequence), "For the Marriage of Faustus & Helen", and of course his great death-ode "The Broken Tower."
"The partial failure of the poem had something to do with his increased alcoholism": even if this were true it is miserably vague. I for one do not find it true, since the Bridge's reception is what cemented early on its critical reputation as simultaneously glorious and a failure.
Crane was not simply trying to write an epic, though he did on occasion compare "The Bidge" to Virgil's The Aeneid. What's your point, Professor Windbag?
Okay, we need more discussion and attention and scholarly savvy brought to bear here. Adam Fitzgerald 16:21, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
First of all, please sign your posts. Second, I have tried to correct some of the things to which you (rightly) object. Finally, don't read into the article things that aren't there. "Archaic" is not the same as "affected," and the article nowhere says that Crane was only trying to write an epic. You do agree, I hope, that he was, among other things, trying to write an epic? Hydriotaphia 00:16, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a look and lending a trim, Hydriotaphia. I have to laugh at the presumption of reading things into the article that aren't there, because that's exactly my complaint about the current standards of the piece for Hart Crane (it leaves a lot desired to be read in, to fill the void, to fix the mistakes or slants).
1st: Of course! "Archaic" is going to be synonymous with "Affected" when it appears in the same sentence with "obscure" - as if Crane was trying his best to lead readers away from any appropriable cognitive meaning. That is fixed, however, and that helps de-contextualize what connotatively was encircling "archaic" before.
2nd: The problem concerning the epic-fiasco is this, I'm assuming you are familiar with many of the New Critics (Winters, Tate, then descendents like Blackmur and many contemporary critics) who followed Yvor Winters in slamming "The Bridge" as a "failed epic," a stigma that has lasted and helped seem to legitimate baffled readers who can't for the life of them how the hell the lyrics are supposed to be read in a synthetic, organized sequence. So (like Winters) they concoct a standard that "The Bridge" should live up to, "epic," an aesthetic category familiar and vague enough to expect narrative elements that Crane's work painfully eschews, or re-defines to say the least. The charge that Crane was writing an epic is something he vehemently railed against in letter with Winters after the review, and while I myself do not think the language of the article was trying to be hostile and condescending by saying "epic" - much of the language of the article's discussion or appraisal of the poems in "The Bridge" seems marred by criticisms as old as Winters' review, and unfortunately still alive.
That said, I am not upset with any person or article writers helping Wikipedia fix this one particular article. And I do realize I am bringing perhaps too much weight to bear, but it would be nice to see one scholarly article on Crane avoid some of the pitfalls, traps, reductions that plagued the man in his life and have chased his work after his death. Adam Fitzgerald 16:21, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
I understand your frustration with this article. It does need to be improved. I'm especially sympathetic to your second point. In Harold Bloom's introduction to the "centennial" (1899-1999) edition of the Complete Poems, he makes a similar point. I'll add his quote when I have time. Anyway, we do seem to be in agreement that Crane is one of the greatest American poets ever to have written, and sadly undervalued. Hydriotaphia 17:25, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

"...effectively committing suicide."[edit]

How does one "effectively" commit suicide? To put that another way, is it possible to commit suicide ineffectively? (Yes, I suppose it is, and I suppose Crane did it effectively, but it's still bad writing). PiCo 16:17, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the style is poor, but I think that phrase does mean something: it means the author is questioning whether Crane really intended to kill himself or not. Mariani speculates about this on pp. 420-421 of his biography The Broken Tower. DiderotWasRight (talk) 14:42, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Phrasing of sentences.[edit]

In the third paragraph there are two sentences I feel are somewhat harsh; "Crane was homosexual. Part of his love for New York may have sprung from its tolerance as well as its thriving gay subculture." The first sentence seems like an attack on Hart Crane for his homosexuality. The second sentence seems unencyclopedic in that it appears as an opinion and has no support/evidence. Being related to Heart Crane, I feel that the first sentence needs to be euphemized in order to come off less offensive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by policeGIRL (talkcontribs)

Are you related to Hart Crane or Heart Crane? - Daniel P

I agree that the speculation about his attraction to New York needs a source, otherwise it looks like original research. The first sentence seems fine to me: clear, straightforward. Stumps 05:52, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 16:09, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Edits, November 21-[edit]

Doing a great deal of Crane research this month and adding the more neutral bits in as I write them. Added the sections on influence and sexuality, as well as stubs for The Bridge and White Buildings; changed some minor things (he was not, although the question hasn't been quite closed, writing an 'epic' in the traditional sense; see the stub on The Bridge). Hope to add a section (almost written now) on various critical responses, as well as another stub on "The Broken Tower".--ful.cleane (talk) 19:17, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

If you could take as much care to include information about your sources it would be of huge benefit. Elsewise editors might remove your hard work without qualification. Keep up the good work! Skomorokh incite 21:25, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Skomorokh. I haven't touched the 'life and works' section yet, so no cites there, but I believe the documentation on the other sections is adequate. Please explain how, if not.--ful.cleane (talk) 21:48, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
It's phrases statements like this that worry me
"Even more than a personal or political problem, though, such biases obscure much of what the poems make clear; compare, for instance, the last lines of 'My Grandmother's Love Letters' from White Buildings, a haunting description of estrangement from the norms of (heterosexual) family life"
Whose point of view is this? Which recent queer criticism has pointed out difficulties? Who claims Crane is a poet's poet? These are just examples; much of its is perfectly sourced. Regards, Skomorokh incite 21:56, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Changed wording, added a few sources. Dean and Yingling, of course, are examples of that queer criticism; the moniker 'poet's poet' is a relatively neutral one with so many demonstrations of the affectons of poets, but I'm sure it comes up at least once or twice in Poet's Bookshelf.--ful cleane (talk) 22:24, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Difficulty and influence[edit]

Crane's difficulty and his influence are considered at some length, and with citations, in the body of the article (which a quick survey of the contents will remind). A reductive citation in the intro. seems unnecessary. -ful cleane (talk) 07:41, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

No, I still believe that a brief citation in the opening is necessary. The introduction is the last place we should have uncited claims. Thanks for your response. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 15:48, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

How did I violate good faith?[edit]

Hello members,

I added an external link to my personal wiki of annotations to "The Bridge" (under an anonymous IP address, as I had not yet registered), and it was removed. Can you please let me know why this was, and if there's something I can do to make the addition more acceptable?

I make no money from my site; I am not an academic, so I am not attempting to further my career with my site; and I did my very best to rigorously source all of my glosses. (Some of them are simply my own suggestions or speculations, but anything factual is sourced, and anything from the work of a scholar is attributed to him or her.)

I worked very hard on my site, and I would love for others to be able to benefit from or improve upon the work I did. So if there is something I can do to make linking to it more acceptable to the Wikipedia community, please let me know. DiderotWasRight (talk) 03:26, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

I believe that what Skomorokh said was that your edit was in good faith, but was, nevertheless, improper. If you look at links to be avoided in WP:EL it states links to blogs and personal web pages. Also, if the link you are adding is your own, you have a conflict of interest. I took a look at your page, and it looks like a good resource, but I am going to wait until some other editors weigh in here before I put it back in. Cheers! ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 17:20, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Great, thanks. I look forward to the editors' opinions. DiderotWasRight (talk) 22:54, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I was rather hoping that we would have received some other opinions by now. Once we have reached the one week mark, and there still have been no opinions expressed here, I will reinsert the link, and we will deal with it from there. Cheers! ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 16:09, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Why not move that information from your wiki into "The Bridge (long poem)"?. Most statements seem to be backed up by a reliable source plus your work would be seen by more people if it's here than if it is over there. I don't think the link should be on this article because in the end it's a blog written by a student(?), sorry. --Yamanbaiia(free hugs!) 20:40, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
You're suggesting that I move the entire contents of my wiki into the article on The Bridge? I'd be happy to do that, but if inserting a link to my wiki shows too much trust in myself as a reliable source (if I'm using this term appropriately), why would simply inserting the entire contents not have the same problem? Also, my wiki is pretty detailed, and I'm not sure that its line-by-line annotations of each poem in The Bridge would really be appropriate for the encyclopedia-article genre. (I was a student at the time I made my wiki, by the way, if anyone is curious: it was part of my work in a graduate class on Modern American Poetry.) Please offer more opinions. DiderotWasRight (talk) 01:15, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Linking to a personal website that does indeed violate WP:EL is different than adding your research to a Wikipedia entry directly, if that research is properly sourced (therefore verifiable) and neutral. Because the link in question is of a personal, self published nature, it is only indirectly related to the subject (this article is about Hart, not "The Bridge"), and you are not a "recognized" authority on the subject, it falls under "Links normally to be avoided". I definitely believe that the original user was correct in removing the link. On the other hand, if your analysis satisfies WP:V and WP:NPOV criteria, there could be an argument to add the information to the poem's article. I cannot say for certain, however, as I have not read the website. María (habla conmigo) 01:41, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. I will not attempt to insert my link again. Let me ask the community a different question: I did a good deal of painstaking factual research, but I also worked hard to offer the best interpretations of difficult phrases that I could, and to pin down echoes of other texts that I thought I heard in the lines of The Bridge (of course, only the "factual research" portion could be considered neutral). I would like to give the product of my work away to anyone who is interested, and I flatter myself that some of my annotations would be quite useful to beginners. I know that many of you are far more web-literate than I am. Can you suggest the best way for me to go about giving my work away? Thank you. DiderotWasRight (talk) 02:37, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Note 12[edit]

Sorry, totally new to Wikipedia editing. Note 12 links to the wrong lecture by Grossman. Here is the proper link: I'll try to change it myself, please correct if I fail. (talk) 01:58, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Yep, failed. Can someone please change the link at the next opportunity? Thanks, and sorry again if I'm posting in bad form. (talk) 02:02, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I fixed it. Thanks for pointing this out. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 03:11, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
When I found the link yesterday I only watched the first few minutes. Unfortunately the video stops running ~10 minutes in, and every other copy I've found it does the same. I have found a full audio version ( but it is an inferior experience: Grossman is an older man, and without the benefit of the lip reading he is sometimes quite difficult to follow. So three questions: 1) am I the only person having trouble with the video? 2) can anyone find the full length video? 3) if "no" to the first 2, should we link to the audio version in Note 12? Thanks, (talk) 02:58, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
There is really no reason not to provide both links, actually. But, if a better version of the video can be found, that would be helpful. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 03:46, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Movie with James Franco[edit]

Just saw Franco on Letterman show discussing current projects, including film about Crane. Thought editors here might like to know about that. - Anon98.92.. (talk) 04:27, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, it could be good. Though I thought the Franco movie about Ginsberg and Howl was terrible. I think the script is based on Paul Mariani's bio on Crane, though, so that's promising.Jpcohen (talk) 01:19, 1 April 2012 (UTC)


Hi, I'm new to wikipedia editing, but found an image on the Romanian page for Hart Crane. I've been trying to figure out how to get it into the infobox, with no success. Here's the address:șier:Hart_Crane.gif I'd like to know how to do this properly, so any help would be appreciated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Titovian (talkcontribs) 17:37, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

It's a good thought, but the source for the image is listed as so it looks like they just pinched it off that site, a copy and paste job. I'm not sure it would last long on the English Wikipedia, I don't know how things stand on the Romanian project. See WP:COPY. That said, I don't personally know how to use the given file as the syntax seems different from ours. If you need a hand finding your way about, do drop me a line. Span (talk) 18:04, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your help and fast response; I'd been wondering whether something like that might be the problem. I'll let you know if I have any other questions! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Titovian (talkcontribs) 19:42, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

File:Hart Crane 1930.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]


An image used in this article, File:Hart Crane 1930.jpg, has been nominated for speedy deletion for the following reason: All Wikipedia files with unknown copyright status

What should I do?

Don't panic; you should have time to contest the deletion (although please review deletion guidelines before doing so). The best way to contest this form of deletion is by posting on the image talk page.

  • If the image is non-free then you may need to provide a fair use rationale
  • If the image isn't freely licensed and there is no fair use rationale, then it cannot be uploaded or used.
  • If the image has already been deleted you may want to try Deletion Review

This notification is provided by a Bot --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 15:27, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Removing perplexing "[sic]"[edit]

I do not understand why "[sic]" is inserted after "across" in the following quotation in the Career section:

Just imagine looking out your window directly on the East River with nothing intervening between your view of the Statue of Liberty, way down the harbour, and the marvelous beauty of Brooklyn Bridge close above you on your right! All of the great new skyscrapers of lower Manhattan are marshaled directly across [sic] from you, and there is a constant stream of tugs, liners, sail boats, etc in procession before you on the river! It’s really a magnificent place to live. This section of Brooklyn is very old, but all the houses are in splendid condition and have not been invaded by foreigners...

The word "across" is not misspelled or misused in any way that I can see. The only justification for "[sic]", then, is that it was in the quoted source. Unfortunately:

  1. The quoted source is a dead link, at least at present ("Our archives are currently under renovation").
  2. The editor who added this material (Btphelps) is "taking an extended wikibreak and will not return until after December, 2012", so I cannot ask whether "[sic]" was in the quoted source, and, if not, why he or she added it.

I have done all I know to do. Since it appears to me that "[sic]" is unwarranted and therefore a source of confusion rather than clarification, I am going to remove it.--Jim10701 (talk) 02:44, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

I suspect that '[sic]' is used because the window is not 'directly across' from lower Manhattan. The source is a New York newspaper and they might be pernickety about such things. If this is the reason, then I think the 'sic' can come out. MOS:QUOTE says to use 'sic' if there is a 'If there is a significant error in the original statement'. In our case, I'd say it's Hart's perception/ description rather than an error, per se. To keep the 'sic' in doesn't help our readers to understand the text more fully. Span (talk) 11:58, 1 April 2012 (UTC)


We should really only describe a poet as part of a literary movement if the poet describes themselves as being part of that moment. It is not neutral to describe him as that just because some critics do, because other critics would dispute that: Harold Bloom is one example. Gregcaletta (talk) 22:32, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Regarding the section on Crane's death and footnote 11[edit]

The published letters may contradict me -- I haven't read them through -- but I don't think his "recommenc[ing] homosexuality activity" (what an awful phrase!) had anything to do with his suicide. That bit from Wikipedia cites the Poetry Foundation as its source, and if you read their page, you find out that this writer paraphrases the argument incorrectly. I could not find any mention of this as a motive in their bio. In fact, the Poetry Foundation biography emphasizes that Crane was in despair over the decline of his literary powers due to drink and emotional instability (possibly a form of bipolar disorder). His relationship with Opffer had failed and he had indulged in promiscuity which left him feeling dissatisfied. But even though his homosexuality was a source of conflict, given the social and familial barriers he was experiencing, he was not confused over it. He knew what he was, and the affair with Peggy Cowley was a bisexual thing -- which is far more prevalent than society acknowledges -- rather than a conversion or evasion of his sexuality.

As for the Poetry Foundation's assessment, I disagree there too. After writing his masterpiece The Bridge, he was sure to feel that the lesser lyrics lacked something, but he wrote The Broken Tower in this period, and he knew deep down that he still had what it takes. The poets who weigh in on Crane's work as a poet -- Tate, Blackmur -- are judging him from their own narrowly conceived perspectives. Currently, as witness Colm Toibin's article, Crane's work is being reassessed more generously.

I think Crane was exhausted, manic depressive, swinging from high to low, and deeply concerned about his return to New York, which meant a return to the working world of advertising and a relinquishing of his high hopes for literary achievement. The drinking skewed his perceptions, and he gave in to his demons when he hit the nadir. This statement in Wikipedia's article about the recommencing of homosexual activity ought to be expunged. There doesn't seem to be any basis for it.

JonBAnderson (talk) 20:18, 19 October 2013 (UTC)Jon B Anderson