The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

July 21, 2016

July 21, 1899

Hart Crane (July 21, 1899 to April 27, 1932) has an extensive biography at the Poetry Foundation website, and below is just a bit about his most famous poem, "The Bridge:"

....[I]n 1924, Crane had already commenced the first drafts of his ambitious poem The Bridge, which he intended, at least in part, as an uplifting alternative to T. S. Eliot's bleak masterwork, The Waste Land. With this long poem, which eventually comprised fifteen sections and sixty pages, Crane sought to provide a panorama of what he called "the American experience." Adopting the Brooklyn Bridge as the poem's sustaining symbol, Crane celebrates, in often hopelessly obscure imagery, various peoples and places—from explorer Christopher Columbus and the legendary Rip Van Winkle to the contemporary New England landscape and the East River tunnel. The bridge, in turn, serves as the structure uniting, and representing, all that is America. In addition, it functions as the embodiment of uniquely American optimism and serves as a source of inspiration and patriotic devotion: "O Sleepless as the river under thee, / Vaulting the sea, the prairies' dreaming sod, / Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend / And of the curveship lend a myth to God."

The article is detailed and recommended, and includes mention of Hart Crane's sad end. It is not surprising they do not mention his "house cats" at his home in Mixocoac (1932), but his biographer Paul Mariani in The Broken Tower: A Life of Hart Crane (2000) does.

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