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Analysis and comments on A man saw a ball of gold in the sky by Stephen Crane

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Comment 10 of 120, added on January 10th, 2010 at 9:16 AM.

This Crane poem strikes me as a commentary on our greatest use or maybe
misuse of our reasoning minds -- our propensity to self deceive even when
confronted with a reality. It seems similar to another poem of his -- #24:
"I saw a man pursuing the horizon... 'it is futile,' I said... 'You lie' he
cried, and ran on."

Rich from United States
Comment 9 of 120, added on November 14th, 2009 at 7:44 PM.
A man saw a ball of gold in the sky?

I've been intrigued by this poem for forty years. The key seems to be in
the lines "When the man went to the earth/and looked again." When he looks
again, does he look up as before? I've always thought he does--and falls
into the same trap as before, believing that it is, indeed, a ball of gold.
And he will climb again.

Wade from United States
Comment 8 of 120, added on February 6th, 2008 at 9:02 AM.

Crane is commenting on how the real treasure in life consists in striving
for something. It is the effort to achieve a goal that gives it value.
Kids see this in the excitement they feel running up to Christmas, and the
let down after the last gift is opened. Adults see it in the constant
resetting of goals so that they might have a purpose for going on. I love
this poem.

Joe Bellacero from United States
Comment 7 of 120, added on May 28th, 2007 at 5:13 PM.

Men can only value what they do not have.

Comment 6 of 120, added on May 8th, 2007 at 1:50 PM.

This poem ...i think said that heaven is not truely as good as it says it
is to be.

Tim from United States
Comment 5 of 120, added on February 15th, 2007 at 11:33 AM.

thanks pete

kyle from United States
Comment 4 of 120, added on April 19th, 2006 at 5:42 PM.

i think he's trying to say that the man saw gold that would give him
fortune, which would make him happy, and he got it. but up close, it was
worthless and stupid. then when he looked back down, he saw that the true
gold, the true happiness, was right next to him, but he just didn't see it
because he was looking upward, trying to find fame and fortune, the whole

evangeline from New Zealand
Comment 3 of 120, added on August 27th, 2005 at 9:18 PM.

this poem is queer

pete from United States
Comment 2 of 120, added on April 19th, 2005 at 1:13 PM.

i loved this poem i barely understood it thanx

mit tomka from Colombia
Comment 1 of 120, added on April 5th, 2005 at 3:38 PM.

Many years ago I decided to use an analysis of this poem as the central
theme of my masters thesis on Stephen Crane. The poem is quite simple but
clearly distinguishes the glaring differences between journalism and
creative writing. The full body of Crane's work may interpreted from this
perspective. Alas, I never got my MA in English and the thesis was never
written. The main theory still works today.

Linda H. York from United States

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Information about A man saw a ball of gold in the sky

Poet: Stephen Crane
Poem: 35. A man saw a ball of gold in the sky
Volume: The Black Riders & Other Lines
Year: 1905
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 1531 times
Poem of the Day: Feb 4 2002

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By: Stephen Crane

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