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Analysis and comments on Black riders came from the sea. by Stephen Crane

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Comment 17 of 317, added on April 18th, 2007 at 4:04 PM.

i had to read this one twice but i understand it and i loved the meaning
behind it!!!

Starfire from United States
Comment 16 of 317, added on March 30th, 2006 at 2:08 AM.

Wonderful poem, great description. Short but sweet.
Love it.

Matt from New Zealand
Comment 15 of 317, added on March 19th, 2006 at 2:45 PM.

The poem is ediffying

Shope from Nigeria
Comment 14 of 317, added on January 4th, 2006 at 6:48 AM.

The poem is an example of Crane's economy: a lot is said in so few words. I
think 'black' is (unfortunately)used here in the conventional sense to
symbolize evil. (I am saying 'unfortunately' because this kind of image
keeps stereotyping and traumatizing the black race as being replicas of the
devil, yet some of the most heart-rending atrocities in the world have been
committed by the devil dressed in white, not black. Slavery, the Jewish
holocaust, colonialism of Africa, the invasion of Vietnam and Iraq are just
examples). The words 'clang' and 'clash' onomatopaeically represent the
raid (or ride as the poet prefers to call it). The alliteration in lines 2,
3 and 4 also contributes to the structural unity of the poem: the spear is
pitted against the shield (conjuring up a society less technologically
endowed: a spear, not a bomb), the hoof against the heel (an animal versus
a human or perhaps a savage versus a civilized person?), and wild shouts
against the wave of hair. The concluding line serves to underline the
'spirituality' of Crane's poem, which I think is unfortunate because we do
not miss much if the line is deleted altogether. In fact the word 'thus' in
that line tends to 'dilute' the seriousness of the poem: it makes it sound
like some mini-theological pamplet.

Danson Kahyana from Uganda
Comment 13 of 317, added on December 5th, 2005 at 10:07 PM.

By way of emendation, this poem was actually published in 1895, as the
first poem in Crane's first book of poems: _The Black Riders and Other
Lines_. It was written at the request of Crane's publisher. In any case,
it's very different from the other poems in the book, which (in my opinion)
are much better. Here are several examples of what I mean:

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."

I stood upon a high place,
And saw, below, many devils
Running, leaping,
and carousing in sin.
One looked up, grinning,
And said, "Comrade! Brother!"

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.

Two or three angels
Came near to the earth.
They saw a fat church.
Little black streams of people
Came and went in continually.
And the angels were puzzled
To know why the people went thus,
And why they stayed so long within.

I walked in a desert.
And I cried,
"Ah, God, take me from this place!"
A voice said, "It is no desert."
I cried, "Well, But-
The sand, the heat, the vacant horizon."
A voice said, "It is no desert."

I was in the darkness;
I could not see my words
Nor the wishes of my heart.
Then suddenly there was a great light-
"Let me into the darkness again."

Many red devils ran from my heart
And out upon the page,
They were so tiny
The pen could mash them.
And many struggled in the ink.
It was strange
To write in this red muck
Of things from my heart.

I'd rather not. from United States
Comment 12 of 317, added on November 18th, 2005 at 8:50 PM.

My take on this is that it's a meditation on the horrors of war, the
fierceness of it's execution, and how one side will always view their enemy
as commiting Sin.

Lee from United States
Comment 11 of 317, added on May 31st, 2005 at 2:44 PM.

this poem really reminds me of big juicy tits and people named lauren

some kid who doesnt have a lunch
Comment 10 of 317, added on April 28th, 2005 at 9:15 AM.

Crane is a well digger as well as a jeweler and this short poem is meant to
include the solid geometry of a diamond as well as the disquieting depth of
a dry well. Behold ! The glittering diamond is down there in the bottom of
the well!

Macarmuratt from Turkey
Comment 9 of 317, added on April 11th, 2005 at 10:55 PM.

I don't think Crane is specifically adressing one single event. After
reading some of his poems I think he was changed by the wars he covered. I
do think there is some reference to culutral invasion, settlers, and
pirates but I belive the underlying message is that war is horrid and no
matter the situation it can only breed sin (and evil.)

Erik from United States
Comment 8 of 317, added on April 5th, 2005 at 4:47 PM.

This is a good poem (he can do way better) but it really needs more life to

Lupe H. from Mexico

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Information about Black riders came from the sea.

Poet: Stephen Crane
Poem: 1. Black riders came from the sea.
Volume: The Black Riders & Other Lines
Year: 1905
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 637 times
Poem of the Day: Mar 10 2006

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