Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane (1871 - 1900)

Stephen Crane was the last of 14 children born to a Methodist minister who died when he was nine. As a child he moved three times in the New York area. Crane never cared much for schooling, but he did attend Syracuse University – although only for one semester, and his most noteworthy accomplishments were performed on the baseball field. He lived the down-and-out life of a penniless artist who became well known as a poet, journalist, social critic and realist. His contemporaries noted him as being an “original” in his field of work.

War and other forms of physical and mental violence fascinate Crane. He began writing for newspapers in 1891 when he settled in New York where he developed his powers as an observer of psychological and social reality. After he wrote Red Badge of Courage, which earned Crane international acclaim at age 24, he was hired as a reporter in the American West and Mexico. At the age of 27, Crane moved to Jacksonville, Florida and got married. While in Jacksonville, his boat The Commodore sank off the coast and he wrote about the harrowing adventure in The New York Press. Crane covered the Greco-Turkish War and later settled in England where he made friends with famous writers of the time including H.G. Wells and Henry James. He later covered the Spanish-American War for Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. During the last few years of his life, he began writing furiously because he was in debt and suffering from tuberculosis. He later died while he was in Germany.

The poetry Crane produced was published in War is Kind & Other Lines (1899) and posthumously in The Black Riders & Other Lines (1905). The poems from these two collections are all published below.

Poems By Stephen Crane

The Black Riders & Other Lines

1. Black riders came from the sea. (21 Comments »)
2. Three little birds in a row (5 Comments »)
3. In the desert (59 Comments »)
4. Yes, I have a thousand tongues (15 Comments »)
5. Once there came a man (9 Comments »)
6. God fashioned the ship of the world carefully. (10 Comments »)
7. Mystic shadow, bending near me, (1 Comment »)
8. I looked here (7 Comments »)
9. I stood upon a high place, (9 Comments »)
10. Should the wide world roll away, (2 Comments »)
11. In a lonely place, (5 Comments »)
12. “And the sins of the fathers shall be” (8 Comments »)
13. If there is a witness to my little life, (1 Comment »)
14. There was crimson clash of war. (2 Comments »)
15. “Tell brave deeds of war.” (No Comments »)
16. Charity thou art a lie, (2 Comments »)
17. There were many who went in huddled procession (No Comments »)
18. In heaven (15 Comments »)
19. A god in wrath (8 Comments »)
20. A learned man came to me once (2 Comments »)
21. There was, before me (3 Comments »)
22. Once I saw mountains angry (5 Comments »)
23. Places among the stars (4 Comments »)
24. I saw a man pursuing the horizon (23 Comments »)
25. Behold, the grave of a wicked man (5 Comments »)
26. There was set before me a mighty hill (5 Comments »)
27. A youth in apparel that glittered (1 Comment »)
28. “Truth,” said a traveller (11 Comments »)
29. Behold, from the land of the farther suns (2 Comments »)
30. Supposing that I should have the courage (4 Comments »)
31. Many workmen (4 Comments »)
32. Two or three angels (3 Comments »)
33. There was one I met upon the road (1 Comment »)
34. I stood upon a highway (No Comments »)
35. A man saw a ball of gold in the sky (15 Comments »)
36. I met a seer (2 Comments »)
37. On the horizon the peaks assembled (2 Comments »)
38. The ocean said to me once (1 Comment »)
39. The livid lightnings flashed in the clouds (4 Comments »)
40. And you love me (4 Comments »)
41. Love walked alone (4 Comments »)
42. I walked in a desert (8 Comments »)
43. There came whisperings in the winds (3 Comments »)
44. I was in the darkness (4 Comments »)
45. Tradition, thou art for suckling children (1 Comment »)
46. Many red devils ran from my heart (8 Comments »)
47. “Think as I think,” said a man (13 Comments »)
48. Once there was a man (2 Comments »)
49. I stood musing in a black world (4 Comments »)
50. You say you are holy (1 Comment »)
51. A man went before a strange God (4 Comments »)
52. Why do you strive for greatness, fool? (2 Comments »)
53. Blustering God (No Comments »)
54. “It was wrong to do this,” said the angel (3 Comments »)
55. A man toiled on a burning road (1 Comment »)
56. A man feared that he might find an assassin (3 Comments »)
57. With eye and with gesture (No Comments »)
58. The sage lectured brilliantly (No Comments »)
59. Walking in the sky (3 Comments »)
60. Upon the road of my life (2 Comments »)
61. There was a man and a woman (No Comments »)
62. There was a man who lived a life of fire (1 Comment »)
63. There was a great cathedral (No Comments »)
64. Friend, your white beard sweeps the ground (1 Comment »)
65. Once, I knew a fine song (No Comments »)
66. If I should cast off this tattered coat (3 Comments »)
67. God lay dead in heaven (10 Comments »)
68. A spirit sped (3 Comments »)

War is Kind & Other Lines

1. Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind (36 Comments »)
2. “What says the sea, little shell?” (2 Comments »)
3. To the maiden (3 Comments »)
4. A little ink more or less! (1 Comment »)
5. “Have you ever made a just man?” (4 Comments »)
6. I explain the silvered passing of a ship at night, (1 Comment »)
7. “I have heard the sunset song of the birches,” (2 Comments »)
8. Fast rode the knight (15 Comments »)
9. Forth went the candid man (No Comments »)
10. You tell me this is God? (11 Comments »)
11. On the desert (No Comments »)
12. A newspaper is a collection of half-injustices (4 Comments »)
13. The wayfarer, (15 Comments »)
14. A slant of sun on dull brown walls, (No Comments »)
15. Once a man clambering to the housetops (No Comments »)
16. There was a man with tongue of wood (1 Comment »)
17. The successful man has thrust himself (No Comments »)
18. In the night (No Comments »)
19. The chatter of a death-demon from a tree-top (No Comments »)
20. The impact of a dollar upon the heart (No Comments »)
21. A man said to the universe: (29 Comments »)
22. When the prophet, a complacent fat man, (1 Comment »)
23. There was a land where lived no violets. (2 Comments »)
24. Ay, workman, make me a dream, (No Comments »)
25. Each small gleam was a voice, (No Comments »)
26. The trees in the garden rained flowers. (3 Comments »)
27. When a people reach the top of a hill, (No Comments »)
Analysis, meaning and summary of Stephen Crane's poem When a people reach the top of a hill,

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