The livid lightnings flashed in the clouds

The livid lightnings flashed in the clouds;
The leaden thunders crashed.
A worshipper raised his arm.
“Hearken! Hearken! The voice of God!”

“Not so,” said a man.
“The voice of God whispers in the heart
So softly
That the soul pauses,
Making no noise,
And strives for these melodies,
Distant, sighing, like faintest breath,
And all the being is still to hear.”

Analysis, meaning and summary of Stephen Crane's poem The livid lightnings flashed in the clouds


  1. Mike says:

    you guys got it all wrong.. it is kind of like the quote “God is dead” -Nietzsche…. he is commenting on how it is a popular idea that u must be quiet to hear the voice of God.. but the last line is saying that it hasnt been heard… as if .. there is no one there

  2. Maxine says:

    This poem is just like the story in 1 Kings 19:11-12 (in the Bible). Elijah was waiting before God on a mountain. First, a mighty wind came and tore into the mountain, then an earthwake, then a fire. But God was not in those. He then spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice. God chooses to speak to us this way, and it is wonderful!!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    i thinkit means that who ever you are, we can all hear the voice of God. It just depends on how you hear it.

  4. Rao says:

    A simple, beautiful but profond poem!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Stephen Crane better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.