Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What claims does Hart Crane make for the role of poetry in American culture?

What features of Crane’s early poetry exemplify a conservative approach to poetic form?

What is anthropomorphism? Discuss its employment in Crane’s Voyages.

Both Walt Whitman and Hart Crane wrote poems honoring means of crossing New York’s East River. What resemblances in tone, imagery, and poetic style generally do you see in Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” and Crane’s “The Bridge”?

“The Bridge” seems to be made up of a series of rather disparate parts. What unifying element or elements do you see in the poem?

Several writers contributed to the discovery of Herman Melville’s genius in the 1920’s, mostly in biographical and critical prose. What made Crane’s “At Melville’s Tomb” a distinctive addition to this process of discovery?