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Analysis and comments on In the desert by Stephen Crane

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Comment 43 of 823, added on April 27th, 2006 at 7:34 AM.

I think that you are too into poetry and that if you liked it so much you
would be reading it out of a book instead of on the internet

Chris Hoffer from United States
Comment 42 of 823, added on April 26th, 2006 at 2:32 AM.

He is not eating his heart. He is eating OF his heart. I think that
noticing that brings a whole new dimension to the poem...

Comment 41 of 823, added on April 12th, 2006 at 1:53 AM.

I read a brilliantly written book called THE POETRY OF STEPHEN CRANE, by
Daniel Hoffman, Columbia University Press, in which it is shown that this
poem refers to the nature of Man: To sin and to be remorseful. If you love
Crane's poetry, as I do, you should look up this book. This is neither
Crane's Best poem, nor my personal favorite, but it is a superb bit of

Philip from United States
Comment 40 of 823, added on March 26th, 2006 at 11:13 AM.

I think you guys are all dumb... lol u c.. the poem is talking aobut
creature who admits that all our hearts contain sin... though he agrees to
like it.... Figuratively speaking. Of course the creature is only a
creature and doesnt include humans.. Though most people would also agree
that our hearts are also swimming with sin..

William from United Kingdom
Comment 39 of 823, added on March 23rd, 2006 at 2:09 PM.

There is one inherent confusion in this poem that I cannot reconcile. I
believe the creature and the speaker to be two sides to Crane's self. This
has been stated before so I will leave it at that. I also believe that the
"eating" of the heart is a representation of the attraction of misery. It
is all too common for humans to experience a loss and retreat into a "poor
me" attitude that embraces sorrow instead of moving beyond it.
Ok so back to the original conundrum. In this poem, does Crane take a
stance? One one hand, you could assume that the creature's bestial
nakedness puts it on a lower, more primitive level of cognition. Thus it
is a base reaction to embrace sorrow and refuse to move on. If this were
the case, then Crane is saying that we should all move past our misfortunes
and live. Then there is the opposite reading. Is Crane really saying that
the world is a cruel, indifferent, and oftentimes hostile creation that
breeds sorrow? And that embracing sorrow is the only possible reaction in
a world that breeds constant misfortune?
This is my quandary. Which position is Crane really taking? The fact that
the poem ends on the creature's words of woe seems to point to the 2nd
interpretation. One would assume that if Crane wanted us to move past
"eating our hearts" then the speaker would respond to the creature's words.
However, he does not. Is this conclusive proof? I don't think so.
Regardless it is a wonderfully sorrowful poem in either instance.

Patrick from United States
Comment 38 of 823, added on March 16th, 2006 at 8:34 PM.

I believe that this poem clearly states that the creature is oveously a
struggling 6th grader try to work ona poetry unit and he is eating his
heart so he dies and never has to worry about that project

Zach from United States
Comment 37 of 823, added on March 14th, 2006 at 2:34 PM.

Well,if it is possible to survive without having a heart then what is the
use of it?Am I being too pragmatist or too weak to tolerate a heart beating
as if it rebells?

elif from Turkey
Comment 36 of 823, added on March 8th, 2006 at 9:17 PM.

I think this is good poem and i agree that the dog is eating his dog poo,
and hes a bad little doggy now. Dogs are cool though.

JJ Melendez from Azerbaijan
Comment 35 of 823, added on February 23rd, 2006 at 2:06 AM.

The heart is passion. The creature is our carnal nature and desire, and to
eat the heart is to glutt oneself on his passion. When you do that, when
you feast on your passion, it is bitter, bitter, but you like it because it
is bitter and because it is your heart. The poem is a masterpiece. I
think about it often.

Nathaniel H. from United States
Comment 34 of 823, added on February 3rd, 2006 at 2:36 AM.

I think the bestial creature is nothing more than a creature. I believe he
is discussing pride. The creature is proud. He has a heart, and he likes
it. It is bitter, true. All men are bitter, but all men are proud. Is the
eating of his heart introspective? No, because he says "In the desert, I
saw a creature." He is not eating his heart, he is not necessarily bitter.
It may mean no matter what man becomes, even a gangrel creature in the
desert, he always has a heart. Whatever that may mean.

John from Canada

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Information about In the desert

Poet: Stephen Crane
Poem: 3. In the desert
Volume: The Black Riders & Other Lines
Year: 1905
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 1024 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 28 2000

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