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Hart Crane was a poetic genius who was driven and hampered by his self-destructive personality His alcoholism sexual excesses and volatile behavior gave him the illusion of personal stability and lead to his greatest poems but also brought his tragic doom Cranes poems though not always autobiographical can be understood by looking at the occurrences in his turbulent life Crane acted as his own worst enemy The feeling mood style and form of Cranes poems mirrored his many mood swings While his moods were ever-changing the central issue of his career always remained the composition of his novel-length poem The Bridge Hart Cranes poetry rarely documented his biography but his poems can be best understood by examining the events of his life Crane was a confirmed drunkard suffering attacks of delirium tremens irritable depressed unhappy and unable to sleep Thompson 18 His poems dont chronicle these events but his poetry reflects a tortured being who was a victim of his own personality history and lifestyle Crane lived a frightened childhood His mother was monstrous his father callous and together they were horrendous These family troubles affected his mindset from his childhood on and possibly triggered his whole emotional imbalance He received great disapproval and was ousted by his father because he chose poetry over business Crane never had closeness with his parents His new thresholds new anatomies Crane 25 revealed by alcohol along with his apartment with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge all shaped the themes and styles of poems He found fantastic sights and sounds agitated by drinking This understanding of his life provides an understanding of where Cranes topics themes and feelings of poems originated His view of the Brooklyn Bridge inspired him to write a novel-length collection of poems that immortalized this structure Gazing at the bridge a modern wonder of engineering across the East River in New York provided a bit of comfort in Cranes roller-coaster
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