Stephen Crane Appreciation Post

I don’t know if you know who Stephen Crane is, but he was that dude who wrote the Red Badge of Courage. I have not read it, but I plan to. I discovered him through his poetry, which is sublime. This is Stephen Crane in a super awkward pose. I like his hat?

His poems are little obsidian jewels that chill you:

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter — bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”

I stood upon a high place,
And saw, below, many devils
Running, leaping,
and carousing in sin.
One looked up, grinning,
And said, “Comrade! Brother!”

 

Feel a bit unsure of where you stand in the universe? Undergoing a spiritual crisis? He was no stranger to this.

 

“It was wrong to do this,” said the angel.
“You should live like a flower,
Holding malice like a puppy,
Waging war like a lambkin.””Not so,” quoth the man
Who had no fear of spirits;
“It is only wrong for angels
Who can live like the flowers,
Holding malice like the puppies,
Waging war like the lambkins.”

A man said to the universe:
“Sir I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”

and this:

I was in the darkness;
I could not see my words
Nor the wishes of my heart.
Then suddenly there was a great light —

“Let me into the darkness again.”

Or if you are frustrated at human stupidity and our tremendous capacity for unthinking cruelty, he was too.

Once there came a man
Who said,
“Range me all men of the world in rows.”
And instantly
There was terrific clamour among the people
Against being ranged in rows.
There was a loud quarrel, world-wide.
It endured for ages;
And blood was shed
By those who would not stand in rows,
And by those who pined to stand in rows.
Eventually, the man went to death, weeping.
And those who staid in bloody scuffle
Knew not the great simplicity.

And boy did he know how to write a love poem *swoons*

Places among the stars,
Soft gardens near the sun,
Keep your distant beauty;
Shed no beams upon my weak heart.
Since she is here
In a place of blackness,
Not your golden days
Nor your silver nights
Can call me to you.
Since she is here
In a place of blackness,
Here I stay and wait

and

Should the wide world roll away
Leaving black terror
Limitless night,
Nor God, nor man, nor place to stand
Would be to me essential
If thou and thy white arms were there
And the fall to doom a long way.

How can you not like his poetry?  Can you believe this man came from New Jersey? Eat your heart out, Snooki.

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