Hart Crane

Hart Crane was one of my favorite poets when I was a teenager. I used to wander around reciting his musical poems aloud. His most famous poem is “To Brooklyn Bridge.” Now he seems almost unnoticed, so I thought I’d post one of his that I remember. I especially love the last four lines.

Island Quarry

Square sheets — they saw the marble into
Flat slabs there at the marble quarry
At the turning of the road arond the roots of the mountain
Where the straight road would seem to ply below the stone, that fierce
Profile of marble spiked with yonder
Palms against the sunset’s towering sea, and maybe
Against mankind.

It is at times —  In dusk it is at times as though this island lifted, floated
In Indian baths. At Cuban dusk the eyes
Walking the straight road toward thunder —
This dry road silvering toward file shadow of file quarry
— It is at times as though the eyes burned hard and glad
And did not take the goat path quivering to the right.
Wide of the mountain — thence to tears and sleep —
But went on into marble that does not weep.

Hart Crane


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