While I was studying up on Hart Crane I did what I often do, I looked it up on Tom O’Bedlam’s SpokenVerse Channel on YouTube. That man has an astounding one thousand plus videos in his catalogue, and with over 12,500 subscribers (including me), he is the Rock Star of poetry readings on YouTube. I cannot be him; I love what he is doing there, and if you don’t read his insightful descriptions below the video you are missing out on half the treat.
I let him read some Crane to me, including the video below, “At Melville’s Tomb.” I’m going to quote him from his description because it says much about the poet and his approach.
The editor of Poetry, Harriet Monroe, received this poem in 1926 and first rejected it, asking:
“How dice can bequeath an embassy (or anything else); and how a calyx (of death’s bounty or anything else) can give back a scattered chapter, livid hieroglyph; and how, if it does, such a portent can be wound in corridors (of shells or anything else).”
Hart Crane gave a remarkably good answer, which she printed, citing other poems which make no literal sense and arguing that poetry has “another logic”. You can read all about it here in The New York Observer:
Please read the rest on YouTube and Tell Tom SonofWalt says hello!