About Hart Crane
His full name was Harold Hart Crane and you can read more about this poet in this bio.
About the poem
The poem To Emily Dickinson is about regret and optimism. These two factors that form the basis of this poem, conflict. The way that this poet combined these factors, it seems just as natural. This shows how much he was inspired by Dickinson.
With the knowledge about the death of Crane (27-04-1932), this poem seems to connect with his, somewhat, dark thoughts. Crane decided to end his life in April 1932, by jumping off the SS. Orizaba in the Gulf of Mexico. His body was never recovered.
Darkness is an important factor in the work of Dickinson. For Crane, this was an important subject to write about. Let’s call these self-reflections of a tormented mind. Because he started drinking and this caused a depression. He assumed that he failed and there was no other option than to end his life. The circumstances that lead to his death are just as sad as the assumption that his life was nothing more than a failure. Crane left us a legacy of some intense poems. Just as great as the ones he considered important when it comes down to poetry: Dickinson and Whitman.
To Emily Dickinson
You who desired so much–in vain to ask–
Yet fed you hunger like an endless task,
Dared dignify the labor, bless the quest–
Achieved that stillness ultimately best,
Being, of all, least sought for: Emily, hear!
O sweet, dead Silencer, most suddenly clear
When singing that Eternity possessed
And plundered momently in every breast;
–Truly no flower yet withers in your hand.
The harvest you descried and understand
Needs more than wit to gather, love to bind.
Some reconcilement of remotest mind–
Leaves Ormus rubyless, and Ophir chill.
Else tears heap all within one clay-cold hill.
— Hart Crane
The poem is anything but simple. Yet, it is subtle. The irony speaks from this poem, from time to time. He considered Dickinson as his muse. That is why this poem has so much resemblance to the work of the Belle of Amherst.
Crane did what many fans of Dickinson may have thought about her work. This is one of the most beautiful poems, which can be considered as a tribute from one poet to another poet.
We can imagine that you may well be inspired by another poet. Did you ever write about your admiration? You can share your thoughts with us. Use the online submission form to send in your poem.