A Name for All

By Hart Crane 1899–1932 Hart Crane
Moonmoth and grasshopper that flee our page
And still wing on, untarnished of the name
We pinion to your bodies to assuage
Our envy of your freedom—we must maim

Because we are usurpers, and chagrined—
And take the wing and scar it in the hand.
Names we have, even, to clap on the wind;
But we must die, as you, to understand.

I dreamed that all men dropped their names, and sang
As only they can praise, who build their days
With fin and hoof, with wing and sweetened fang
Struck free and holy in one Name always.

Source: The Complete Poems of Hart Crane (2001)

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Poet Hart Crane 1899–1932

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Nature, Death, Animals, Living

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Hart  Crane

Biography

Hart Crane is a legendary figure among American poets. In his personal life he showed little self-esteem, indulging in great and frequent bouts of alcohol abuse. In his art, however, he showed surprising optimism. Critics have contended that for Crane, misery and despair were redeemed through the apprehension of beauty, and in some of his greatest verses he articulated his own quest for redemption. He also believed strongly in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Death, Animals, Living

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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