Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Crane Theory

"It is my hope to go through the combined materials of the poem, using our "real" world somewhat as a spring-board, and to give the poem as a whole an orbit or predetermined direction of its own. I would like to establish it as free from my own personality as from any chance evaluation on the reader's part. (This is, of course, an impossibility, but it is a characteristic worth mentioning.) Such a poem is at least a stab at truth, and to such an extent may be differentiated from other kidns of poetry and called "absolute." Its evocation will not be toward decoration or amusement, but rather toward a state of consciousness, an "innocence" (Blake) or absolute beauty. In this condition there may be discoverable under new forms certain spiritual illuminations, shining with a morality essentialized from experience directly, and not from pervious precepts or preconceptions. It is as though a poem gave the reader as he left it a single, new word, never before spoken and impossible to actually enunciate, but self-evident as an active principle in the reader's consciousness henceforward."

Hart Crane
from "General Aims and Theories," 1925


Anonymous said...

Crane's stab at truth?...

The Hive
Up the chasm walls of my bleeding heart/ Humanity pecks, claws, sobs, and climbs;/ Up the inside, and over every part/ Of the hive of the world that is my heart./ And of all the sowing, and all the tear-tendering,/ And reaping, have mercy and love issued forth./ Mercy, white milk, and honey, gold love--/ And I watch and say, "These the anguish are worth."

Morgan Lucas Schuldt said...

Yea, that, or any of his other poems. Or yours. Or mine, for that matter.