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Hart Crane's 'The Bridge'

An Annotated Edition

Lawrence Kramer

Publication Year: 2011

Hart Crane's long poem The Bridge has steadily grown in stature since it was published in 1930. At first branded a noble failure by a few influential critics- a charge that became conventional wisdom-this panoramic work is now widely regarded as one of the finest achievements of twentieth-century American poetry. It unites mythology and modernity as a means of coming to terms with the promises, both kept and broken, of American experience.The Bridge is also very difficult. It is well loved but not well understood. Obscure and indirect allusions abound in it, some of them at surprisingly fine levels of detail. The many references to matters of everyday life in the 1920s may baffle or elude today's readers. The elaborate compound metaphors that distinguish Crane's style bring together diverse sources in ways that make it hard to say what, if anything, is going onin the text. The poem is replete with topical and geographical references that demand explication as well as identification. Many passages are simply incomprehensible without special knowledge, often special knowledge of a sort that is not readily available even today, when Google and Wikipedia are only a click away.Until now, there has been no single source to which a reader can go for help in understanding and enjoying Crane's vision. There has been no convenient guide to the poem's labyrinthine complexities and to its dense network of allusions-the thousands of strandsthat, Crane boasted, had to be sorted out, researched, and interwovento compose the work.This book is that guide. Its detailed and far-reaching annotations make The Bridge fully accessible, for the first time, to its readers, whether they are scholars, students, or simply lovers of poetry.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Frontispiece, Title Page, Copyright

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p. v


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p. vii


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p. ix

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p. xi

The text of The Bridge in this edition follows Crane’s corrected proofs to the second edition, published in New York by Liveright in 1930; Crane preferred this text to the first edition, published in Paris...

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Annotating The Bridge

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pp. xiii-xviii

Hart Crane’s long poem The Bridge has steadily grown in stature since it was published in 1930. At first branded a noble failure by a few influential critics—a charge that became conventional wisdom—this panoramic work is now widely regarded...

The Bridge / To Brooklyn Bridge

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pp. xix-5

I. Ave Maria

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pp. 7-17

II. Powhatan's Daughter

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pp. 19-57

The Harbor Dawn

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pp. 21-26

Van Winkle

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pp. 27-32

The River

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pp. 33-43

The Dance

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pp. 44-52


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pp. 53-57

III. Cutty Sark

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pp. 59-68

IV. Cape Hatteras

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pp. 69-86

V. Three Songs

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pp. 87-99

Southern Cross

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pp. 89-92

National Winter Garden

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pp. 93-96


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pp. 97-99

VI. Quaker Hill

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pp. 101-109

VII. The Tunnel

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pp. 111-124

VIII. Atlantis

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pp. 125-134

E-ISBN-13: 9780823248735
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823233076
Print-ISBN-10: 0823233073

Page Count: 128
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 809317590
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Hart Crane's 'The Bridge'

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