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White Buildings: Poems

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  194 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
This first book of poems by hart Crane, one of his three major collections, was originally published in 1926. The themes in White Buildings are abstract and metaphysical, but Crane's associations and images spring from the American scene. Eugene O'Neill wrote: "Hart Crane's poems are profound and deep-seeking. In them he reveals, with a new insight and unique power, the my ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published May 17th 2001 by Liveright (first published 1972)
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Dec 17, 2009 Anna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone. I mean it.
Shelves: poetry
White Buildings feels a little bit traditional, for those of you who aren't interested in po-mo stuff at all. However, its brilliance transcends the aesthetic battles.
John Pistelli
May 27, 2015 John Pistelli rated it really liked it
A friend of mine was once enamored of Bakhtin's Rabelais and His World; I think he found in it a literary refutation of an unsustainable idealism toward which he was then tempted—and he also thought that it illuminated the work of Guns N'Roses (on the title page he wrote G N'R and Their World in parentheses). Anyway, I asked him if he had ever read Rabelais (I had not, and I still haven't), and I've always treasured his reply: "I'm not sure what it would even mean to read Rabelais."

I am sometime
Apr 27, 2015 Matthew rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Look steadily - how the wind feasts and spins
The brain's disk shivered against lust. Then watch
While darkness, like an ape's face, falls away,
And gradually white buildings answer day.

- Hart Crane, Recitative

There's a lot I like about this collection of poetry. It's one of the few cases in which I'm not distracted by rhyming in poetry (though I should point out that the majority of the poems aren't rhyming). I wanted to give this collection four stars, but I was discouraged by some of the racism
Oct 27, 2013 Pewterbreath rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: oh I'm always afraid to recommend poetry
I have been reading this book over and over for a year and a half now, and still I cannot claim to understand half of it. What I do understand is that Hart Crane spoke in fragments, that his strange affected language was an attempt to express the inexpressable. That in an era where homosexuality was taboo, this was as clear as it got. He requires digging, but don't be afraid---he's the sort who you need to have faith that meaning will be there, to read closely, and more than once, hell more than ...more
Sep 02, 2016 Julas rated it it was amazing
Dense, with a few weak ones (the one as an elegy to his grandmother), but perhaps the greatest collection of one-line philosophical gems you'll find. And you'll often find 20 of those gems bound together to form a whole poem. I guess that makes the poems philosophical bracelets?

Highly Recommended for poetry readers.
Oct 11, 2012 Travissimo rated it it was amazing
I think this is definitely the best collection to have of Hart Crane, at least to start off with. It is short and sweet, but incredibly beautiful. If you haven't read Crane before, start with this. i love it.
Apr 27, 2015 Sean rated it really liked it
At times he feels inscrutable, but the images flash with too much intensity to not be enthralled by.
Dec 25, 2013 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I heard wind flaking sapphire, like this summer,
And willows could not hold more steady sound."

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Hart Crane was born in Garrettsville, Ohio. His father, Clarence, was a successful Ohio businessman who had made his fortune in the candy business with chocolate bars. He originally held the patent for the Life Saver, but sold his interest to another businessman just before the candy became popular. Crane’s mother and father were constantly fighting, and early in April, 1917, they divorced. It was ...more
More about Hart Crane...

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“نتكيّف خاضعين
مكتفين بتعزيّات جزافية
كتلك التى تضعها الريح
فى جيوب عميقة وواسعة
لأنه لا يزال فى وسعنا أن نحب العالم،
نحن الذين نجد قطا صغيرا على العتبة ونعرف
كيف نحميه من قساوة الشارع
فى فجوة دافئة مغطاة بالريش.
سوف نسير جانبيا،
وحتى البسمة المتكلفة الأخيرة
نتحاشى حكم ذلك الإبهام المحتوم
الذى يدير نحونا ببطء سبّابته المجعدة
مواجهين النظرة الشذراء الفاترة ببراءة
وبالكثير من الدهشة!
ومع ذلك، فتلك السقطات البارعة ليست أكاذيب
أكثر مما هى استدارات أى خيزرانة مطواع،
وليس مأتمنا، بصورةٍ ما، مشروعاً.
فى وسعنا التملص منكم، ومن كل شىء آخر،
لكن ليس من القلب:
ما ذنبنا إذا بقى القلب حيّا؟
تفرض اللعبة ابتسامات متكلفة،
لكننا رأينا القمر
يصنع فى المعابر المقفرة كأس ضحك مقدسة
من منفضة فارغة
وعبر أصوات المرح والبحث جميعا
سمعنا مواء قطٍ فى البرية”
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