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Complete Poems of Stephen Crane

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  594 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
This book makes available for the first time in paperback all of Stephen Crane's poetry. The 134 poems, critically edited from manuscripts and printed sources according to modern textual principles, are arranged in chronological order. They include the poems published during Crane's lifetime in the two volumes "The Black Riders" and "War is Kind," as well as those survivin ...more
Paperback, 154 pages
Published June 1st 1972 by Cornell University Press (first published 1899)
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Sep 25, 2017 added it
Shelves: 2017
poems about death and religion: 👍
poems about his break up: 👎
I finally went back and finished the second section of this book after a brief hiatus to finish another book I was reading. I mostly enjoyed the book but the first section..The Black Riders and Other Lines (1895) was definitely my favorite. A lot of the work was not what I would consider actual traditional was more observations about life and some mini fable/riddles. I really enjoyed this section because most of the work was easy for me to understand and I just loved his very astute ob ...more
Aleksandr Stotland
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really can do no justice to this often overlooked poet (most read "Red Badge of Courage" in High School, and then just forget about him, criminally ignoring America's second great Goth (Poe being first)and first Emo). Instead, I'll just post a poem of his (or two) to allow his work to speak for him.
Once, I knew a fine song,
-- It is true, believe me --
It was all of birds,
And I held them in a basket;
When I opened the wicket,
Heavens! They all flew away.
I cried, "Come back, little thoughts!"
Nov 28, 2007 added it
The exhaustive collection Crane's overlooked poetry. Always humane and unpretentious, many of these terse poems zero in on the heart of great truths.

You tell me this is God?
I tell you this is a printed list,
A burning candle, and an ass.
Lisa N
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I ran across this poem years ago and was hooked on Crane’s poetry.

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.”

Characteristically terse and pessimistic. It was interesting to read the complete works. (There are only 135 poems—Crane died at the age of 28 of TB.) His inward conflict with the pligh
May 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who like existentialism, or short, accessible poetry
Stephen Crane is a strange poet. He is not, by many technical measures, great. Some might even argue he's not very good. I think he has a wonderful voice. His poems are quite personal, thought-provoking, aphoristic in quality, and will keep you thinking about God, human nature, war, sin, and redemption (well, less redemption and more sin and war). He has a really keen sense for turn of phrase that stays with you and drives his themes home. For instance, his poem "In the Desert" reads:

In the dese
Oct 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Though i be credential-less, Crane is the best to me. i could read this collection forever.

The livid lightnings flashed in the clouds;
The leaden thunders crashed.
A worshipper raised his arm.
"Hearken! Hearken! The voice of God!"
"Not so," said a man.
"The voice of God whispers in the heart
So softly
That the soul pauses,
Making no noise,
And strives for these melodies,
Distant, sighing, like faintest breath,
And all the being is still to hear."
Manik Sukoco
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Crane shows a wonderful grasp of human dignity amid great trial. His fictional Red Badge of Courage hints at his genius for converting misery into noble precepts; but in War Is Kind he brings the art of language crashing into the realness of life and living. Crane is perhaps the greatest American poet never read. It's too bad. His work is challenging and refreshing, all at the same time. Good stuff.
Ben Loory
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
just reread this. still the best.

A man saw a ball of gold in the sky;
He climbed for it,
And eventually he achieved it--
It was clay.

Now this is the strange part:
When the man went to the earth
And looked again,
Lo, there was the ball of gold.
Now this is the strange part:
It was a ball of gold.
Aye, by the heavens, it was a ball of gold.
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Crane's poetry was a balm to my soul at one time. I carried the following poem around with me for years until it finally disintegrated in my wallet:

"Think as I think," said a man,
"Or you are abominably wicked;
You are a toad."
And after I had thought of it,
I said, "I will, then, be a toad."
Dec 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I fancy myself a poet. I've churned out page after page of self-importance and angst. But then I go back and reread the master of the style that I vainly attempt to imitate - Stephen Crane. And I remember that I am just a little man, living in my little corner of the world, casting arrows at the sun, like some kind of 21st century Nimrod.
Krystal Michele
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Crane's economical approach to language offers all the potency of great literary art in brief, laconic poems. Precise, fast-flowing (often epigrammatic), here is a writer who artfully cuts into the heart of what he means without a word to waste.

Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A Man Said to the Universe

A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."
Paul E
Sep 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
A Wallace Stevens he isn't, but Crane adequately traverses the questions of existence confronted by most thinking, feeling, caring folks of the past few centuries, if not further back. At times he's more didactic than expressive or poetic, but always he's searching, and often heart-achingly so. I re-read this volume in the early '90s and revisit it often as certain lines float to my mental surface. One can re-read poems hundreds of times and still need to revisit the text on befitting occasions.
Dec 30, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
People usually don't recognize Crane as a poet [he also wrote The Red Badge of Courage and The Open Boat]. His poems read like short, stark proverbs...not all of them are terribly poetic, but most include vivid images.

Here's one:

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
"It is futile," I said,
"You can never--"

"You lie," he cried,
And ran on.

And part of another:

A lad and a maid in a canoe,
And a paddle making silver turmoil
Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Poets
Some of these are witty,
Some are bitter.
Many are Beautiful:

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.

Find a better love poem thenthat.
Oct 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes short, potent poetry
I was amazed to learn that Stephen Crane was a poet. Red Badge of Courage...good stuff...blah blah blah. But his poems reveal another world of his creative genius. Usually very short, very vivid and visceral, this was great stuff when I was 17.
Cooper Renner
As the introduction suggests, more like parables than poems. In the context of his times, these are outrageously different. Seen from a century later, they are less striking of course, but also less moving. The dark "visions" of a young man who had seen much.
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, i-really-own
Stephen Crane is one of my favorite poets. He's got this really visceral way of baring a subject down to the bare bone and pinning the wriggling beast to a board and defining it in just a few simple words.
Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I love Crane's poetry. It's simple and stark, and circles darkly around and around the topics of sin, faith and human nature. It had a huge impact on me when I first discovered it.
Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
The only book of poetry I own and reread on a regular basis.
Preeya Behal
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My favorite poet, he's terribly underrated.
Adam Burton
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I'm really not that much of a "poetry" guy, but I do really like these. Short, dark and bitter... just how I would like my coffee... if I drank that nasty stuff.
Mar 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classiclit
Among many others not to be yourself a favor and read "The Heart."
Dec 10, 2009 rated it liked it
A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”
Expressions of bitter love and brutal honesty
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poetry lovers
Crane is my favorite poet.
What else can I say?
Dug Ii
Oct 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book of poetry that I own. I have owned this for years and to this day his style blows me away.
Seth Augenstein
Dec 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: the-best
they're great. so are his stories, especially "The Open Boat."
Reece Nelson
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My current favorite poet.
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Stephen Crane was an American novelist, poet and journalist, best known for the novel Red Badge of Courage. That work introduced the reading world to Crane's striking prose, a mix of impressionism, naturalism and symbolism. He died at age 28 in Badenweiler, Baden, Germany.

More about Stephen Crane...
“When the suicide arrived at the sky, the people there asked him: "Why?" He replied: "Because no one admired me.” 40 likes
“Tell her this
And more,—
That the king of the seas
Weeps too, old, helpless man.
The bustling fates
Heap his hands with corpses
Until he stands like a child
With surplus of toys.”
More quotes…