Hart Crane

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Hart Crane
BornHarold Hart Crane
(1899-07-21)July 21, 1899
Garrettsville, Ohio, U.S.
DiedApril 27, 1932(1932-04-27) (aged 32)
Gulf of Mexico
Literary movementModernism
Notable worksThe Bridge


Harold Hart Crane (July 21, 1899 – April 27, 1932) was an American poet.

Crane was born in Garrettsville, Ohio, in 1899. His father made candy and owned restaurants. He was successful and had much money. Crane's parents did not have an easy marriage. He spent much time with his grandmother. Her library had books by Robert Browning, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walt Whitman.[1]

In 1913 Crane started at East High School in Cleveland, but he was not a very good student. His mother often took him out of school for travel. He never graduated.[1] Crane's father wanted him to work in his business, but Crane wanted to write poetry.[2] He thought he might go to Columbia University, so he moved to New York in 1916. He didn't enter Columbia. He got jobs at some literary magazines, The Little Review and Seven Arts.[3]

In 1917, his parents divorced. His mother came to New York and lived with him in his small apartment. He tried to join the army when the United States entered World War I, but he was too young. He went back to Cleveland. He worked in an ammunition factory.[3]

In 1921, he had a fight with his father that ended their connection for some years. By the time he moved back to New York in 1923, he had written many poems for his first book, White Buildings.[3]

He worked for an advertising company in New York, and he fell in love with a sailor. This love affair helped him to write the poem "Voyages". He was also working on a long group of poems called The Bridge. When White Buildings came out in 1926, he became known as a very good poet.[3] Reviews of The Bridge, when it came out in 1930, were not as positive. His friends Allen Tate and Ivor Winters were unhappy with the poems.[1] This was hard for Crane to take, and his writing slowed down.[3]

In 1931 he got a Guggenheim fellowship that let him travel to Mexico. In Mexico City he got to know the writer Katherine Anne Porter and the painter David Sequeiros. He also began his 'first and only heterosexual affair" with his travelling companion Peggy Cowley.[1]

On April 27, 1932, Crane was on a ship that was going to Havanna, Cuba. He jumped into the Gulf of Mexico and drowned.[3]

Books[change | change source]

  • White Buildings (1926)
  • The Bridge (1930)
  • The Collected Poems of Hart Crane, Ed.Waldo Frank (1938)
  • Hart Crane and Yvor Winters: Their Literary Correspondence, ed. Thomas Parkinson (1978)
  • O My Land, My Friends: The Selected Letters of Hart Crane, (1997)
  • The Complete Poems of Hart Crane, ed. Marc Simon (1986)
  • Hart Crane: Complete Poems and Selected Letters, ed. Langdon Hammer (2006)

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Browne, Cornelius (2004). "Crane, Hart". Oxford Reference - The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  2. Ramalho Santos, Irene (2003). The Cambridge History of American Literature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 288. ISBN 0-521-30109-2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Hart Crane". Poetry Foundation. 2023-02-25. Retrieved 2023-02-25.

Other websites[change | change source]