Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

In the desert -- Stephen Crane

(Poem #196) In the desert
  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."
-- Stephen Crane
There are a number of persistent themes that run through Crane's poems.
Among the most noticeable are human nature, love and the exploration of
man's relations to God, religion, truth, and nature, mostly with a strong
undercurrent of irony. Whatever he is writing about, though, there is one
feature common to nearly every poem - it makes the reader *think*.

Crane is a master of the paradigm shift, the few words that suddenly twist
the reader's world view around, exposing paradox and uncertainty where
before was only smooth complacency. 'Zen' is a badly overused word, and I
won't pretend to know what it properly means, but Crane certainly fits the
public perception of what Zen should be - thought provoking, leaving no
assumption unchallenged, and with multiple meanings and dichotomies
coexisting in every piece.

A final note - the piece above is an excerpt from a larger work, 'The Black
Riders and Other Lines'. Like Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat, it is a series of
somewhat disconnected short pieces, but, again like the Rubaiyat, the pieces
take on a whole new dimension when read together - not necessarily as a
larger 'whole', but simply because each piece develops and reinforces the
themes, the images and the atmosphere of all the rest. A link to the
complete text of the Black Riders is included below.

Note: The poem was untitled, being merely verse III of The Black Riders; I
      merely used the first line as a title.


Crane, Stephen

   b. Nov. 1, 1871, Newark, N.J., U.S.
   d. June 5, 1900, Badenweiler, Baden, Ger.

   American novelist, poet, and short-story writer, best known for his
   novels Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) and The Red Badge of
   Courage (1895) and the short stories "The Open Boat," "The Bride Comes
   to Yellow Sky," and "The Blue Hotel."

For a complete biography see <>


    After The Red Badge of Courage, Crane's few attempts at
   the novel were of small importance, but he achieved an extraordinary
   mastery of the short story.


   In the best of these tales Crane showed a rare ability to shape colourful
   settings, dramatic action, and perceptive characterization into ironic
   explorations of human nature and destiny. In even briefer scope,
   rhymeless, cadenced and "free" in form, his unique, flashing poetry was
   extended into War Is Kind (1899).

   Stephen Crane first broke new ground in Maggie, which evinced an
   uncompromising (then considered sordid) realism that initiated the
   literary trend of the succeeding generations--i.e., the sociological
   novels of Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, and James T. Farrell. Crane
   intended The Red Badge of Courage to be "a psychological portrayal of
   fear," and reviewers rightly praised its psychological realism. The first
   nonromantic novel of the Civil War to attain widespread popularity, The
   Red Badge of Courage turned the tide of the prevailing convention about
   war fiction and established a new, if not unprecedented, one. The secret
   of Crane's success as war correspondent, journalist, novelist,
   short-story writer, and poet lay in his achieving tensions between irony
   and pity, illusion and reality, or the double mood of hope contradicted
   by despair. Crane was a great stylist and a master of the contradictory

        -- EB


   Complete text of 'The Black Riders and Other Lines' can be found at the
   Poets' Corner, <[broken link]>.
   There's also a nice paragraph on why Crane is poetry, though, quoting
   from the site,
       "Crane himself declined to call them poems, referring to them
       only as 'lines'."

   There's a Crane site at
   <[broken link]>

   and a nice biographical snippet at
   <[broken link]>


16 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Anonymous said...

my heart

Anonymous said...

In the desert
Three empty women
Still call for eyes;
They take the sight of those who choose
to live it. Believe it
Or leave it:
the answer's the same.

vigrx plus said...

penis enlargement, penis enlargement pills, male enhancement, male enhancement pills

Penis enlargement pills have been proven is the best way to make the penis bigger and effective to increase men’s sexual performance.vimax pills, vigrx plus, prosolution pills, maleextra

Space Matters Real Estates said...

Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return. Plots for sale in Hyderabad
Plots for sale in Banjara Hills
Plots for sale in Jubilee Hills
Plots for sale in Manikonda
Plots for sale in Madhapur
Plots for sale in kondapur
Plots for sale in Gachibowli
Plots for sale in Kukatpally

Anonymous said...

Нowdy I am so glad I founԁ уour web
ѕite, I really found you by error, while I ωas bгowsing on Google for somеthіng else, Regardleѕs I am here now and wοulԁ just lіke to sау thank уou for a
remаrkаble post and a all rοund thrilling blog (ӏ also
lоve thе theme/design), I don't have time to read through it all at the minute but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

Here is my web blog ... Chemietoilette

Anonymous said...

Eхcellent blog right here! Additionаlly youг web site
lοts up very fast! What host are you using? Can I am getting your
assоciate hypеrlіnk іn your host? I want mу web sіte lоadеԁ uр as
quickly as yours lol

My blog post Chemietoilette

Anonymous said...

What's up it'ѕ me, I am аlѕo visiting this ωеb рage гegularly, thiѕ webѕite іs іn fact nіcе аnd
thе users are really ѕharing ρleasant thοughts.

Here is mу blog post; Chemietoilette

Anonymous said...

Μonday night is pіzza night аt оur houѕе,
wіth Мom's homemade vegetable pizza at the top of the list of favorites. Cut pig-in-blanketfree from strip and make 19 more pigs-in-blankets in same manner, arrangingthem, seam sides down, as they are made on prepared baking sheet. It also contains asorbic acid, beet powder, dry yeast, defatted soy flour, malic acid, monocalcium phosphate, modified corn starch, natural flavors, rehydrated enzyme modified cheese, sodium bicarbonate, sorbitan monstearate, and xanthan gum.

Feel free to visit my page;

Anonymous said...

He especiallу enjoyѕ one thаt iѕ loadeԁ with veggies.
Sprіnkle the top with Italian seasonings for garnish
and additional flavor. Once the conѕistеncy is there, I knead for abοut a minutе.

Also vіsіt my web site; pizza stone

Paul Reed said...

The article posted was very informative and useful. You people are doing a great job. Electrical Electronic Products Components | Electronic Research And Development | Keep going.

Post a Comment