Friday, September 19, 2008

Stephen Crane, poet

Tonight, looking for a book I could not find on my crowded shelves, I came across one of my favorites, “The Collected Poems of Stephen Crane," yes, that Stephen Crane.

Not many know of Stephen Crane, the poet.
Those who don’t might consider this:

Many red devils ran from my heart
And out upon the page.
They were so tiny
The pen could mash them.
And many struggled in the ink,
It was strange
To write in this red muck
Of things from my heart.

or this:

Behold, the grave of a wicked man,
And near it, a stern spirit.

There came a drooping maid with violets,
But the spirit grasped her arm.
“No flowers for him,” he said.
The maid wept:
“Ah I loved him.”
But the spirit, grim and frowning:
“No flowers for him.”

Now, this is it —
If he spirit was just,
Why did the maid weep?

or this:

A learned man came to me once.
He said, “I know the way — come.”
And I was overjoyed at this.
Together we hastened.
Soon, too soon, were we
Where my eyes were useless,
And I knew not the ways of my feet.
I clung to the hand of my friend;
But at last he cried, “I am lost.”

or this:

"Tell brave deeds of war."

Then they recounted tales —
"There were stern stands
And bitter runs for glory."

Ah, I think there were braver deeds.

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