HUMS 467: Hart Crane

Meeting Time: 
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

Before his tragic death at the age of 32, and with a comparatively small total output, Hart Crane produced some of the most astonishing and influential poems of the 20th century. This seminar will focus on close-reading Hart Crane’s complete poetic oeuvre, with sustained attention to his volume of poems White Buildings and his short epic The Bridge. We will locate Crane as a queer American poet in his historical and cultural context in the early 20th century, writing alongside and against his Modernist contemporaries. We will also investigate Crane’s relationship to Romanticism by reading his poetry as a continuation and revision of Romantic precursors in both the English and American poetic traditions. Special attention will be paid to Crane’s unique poetics of catachresis, as evidenced through his poetry but also as articulated in his letters. Finally, we will consider the religious elements of Crane’s poetry and poetics by putting him conversation with hermeticism, Gnosticism, Biblical prophecy, and visionary experience.