The Bridge: A Poem.

"The passion spreads in wide tongues, choked and slow, meeting the gulf, hosanna silently below": First edition of Hart Crane's landmark modernist epic the bridge; inscribed by him to close friend Bob Thompson

The Bridge: A Poem.

CRANE, Hart.


Item Number: 123618

New York: Horace Liveright, 1930.

First American edition of Crane’s landmark modernist epic. Octavo, original blue cloth with gilt titles to the spine and front panel, illustrated with three photographs by Walter Evans. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper one month after publication, “For Bob Thompson, from his friend always- Hart Crane, Brooklyn, April 30.” The recipient, Robert Thompson, was a close friend of Crane’s. During  the early part of 1930, Thompson and Crane spent what John Unterecker described as “wild evenings” in New York. Thompson was “a good drinking companion whom Hart in the summer would recommend to Caresse Crosby as ‘a former sailor who has got tired of office work and expects to hit the deck again for awhile.'” With Thompson’s inscription to the pastedown recording the details of Crane’s suicide, “April 28,1932, S/S Orizaba, Capt. Blackadder.” In very good condition. Housed in a custom clamshell box. Crane presentation copies are of the utmost rarity, and this personal and significant association is of exceptional desirability.

"There are certain single volumes of American poetry… which carry with them a special and spiritual power; they seem to arise from a mysterious impulse and to have been written from an enormous private or artistic need. The poems are full of a primal sense of voice… This tone, so apparent in Hart Crane's work… matches a sensibility which was both visionary and deeply rooted in the real," especially in The Bridge, the second and last book published during Crane's brief and tragic life (Tóibín, New York Review of Books). As a result of this work, Crane was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship and went to Mexico City to write another verse epic, which never materialized. On his way back to New York, on April 27, 1932, Crane jumped from the S.S. Orizaba into the Caribbean and was drowned.

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