Repose Of Rivers

Harold Hart Crane 1899 (Garrettsville, Ohio) – 1932 (Gulf of Mexico)



The willows carried a slow sound,
A sarabande the wind mowed on the mead.
I could never remember
That seething, steady leveling of the marshes
Till age had brought me to the sea.

Flags, weeds. And remembrance of steep alcoves
Where cypresses shared the noon’s
Tyranny; they drew me into hades almost.
And mammoth turtles climbing sulphur dreams
Yielded, while sun-silt rippled them
Asunder ...

How much I would have bartered! the black gorge
And all the singular nestings in the hills
Where beavers learn stitch and tooth.
The pond I entered once and quickly fled—
I remember now its singing willow rim.

And finally, in that memory all things nurse;
After the city that I finally passed
With scalding unguents spread and smoking darts
The monsoon cut across the delta
At gulf gates ... There, beyond the dykes

I heard wind flaking sapphire, like this summer,
And willows could not hold more steady sound.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 09, 2023

46 sec read
125

Quick analysis:

Scheme AXBXX XXXXXB XXXXX XXXXX BA
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 916
Words 155
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 5, 6, 5, 5, 2

Harold Hart Crane

Harold Hart Crane was an American poet. Finding both inspiration and provocation in the poetry of T. S. Eliot, Crane wrote modernist poetry that was difficult, highly stylized, and ambitious in its scope. In his most ambitious work, The Bridge, Crane sought to write an epic poem, in the vein of The Waste Land, that expressed a more optimistic view of modern, urban culture than the one that he found in Eliot's work. In the years following his suicide at the age of 32, Crane has been hailed by playwrights, poets, and literary critics alike (including Robert Lowell, Derek Walcott, Tennessee Williams, and Harold Bloom), as being one of the most influential poets of his generation.  more…

All Harold Hart Crane poems | Harold Hart Crane Books

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