How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest...

Proem

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Atlantis

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“The Atlantis theme (that of Eternity) is the transmuted voice of the nickel-slot pianola, and this voice alternates with that of the derelict sailor and the description of the action. The airy regatta of phantom clipper ships seen from Brooklyn Bridge on the way home is quite effective, I think. It was a pleasure to use historical names for these lovely ghosts.  Music still haunts their names long after the wind has left their sails.”

-Hart Crane

The Tunnel

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“To descend, now, into the subway is to go down to the heart of that ubiquitous death, to experience the contemporary world fully and unevasively as a kind of frozen hell.” – R.W.B Lewis

Quaker Hill

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“Is an attempt to focus the cosmic journey once more upon the person of the poet.”

– Waldo Frank

Three Songs

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“Part Five, Three Songs, is a pause for humbler music, upon the variable theme of woman” (Frank xxxiii).

Cape Hatteras

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Cape Hatteras at first invokes the geologic age that lifted the Appalachians above the waters; the cosmic struggle sharpens into the birth of the airplane–industrial America; the ‘red, eternal flesh of Pocahontus’ gives us, finally, Walt Whitman” -Waldo Frank (xxxiii)

Cutty Sark

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“A fantasy on the period of the whalers and clipper ships.. The form of the poem may seem erratic, but it is meant to present the hallucinations incident to rum-drinking in a South Street dive, as well as the lurch of a boat in heavy seas.”

– Hart Crane

Powhatan’s Daughter

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“The patterning march of the American settlers traces the body, gradually, of Pocahontas; the flow of continent and man becomes the Great River; the huge travail of continental life, after the white man and before him, is borne southward, “meeting the Gulf.” Powhatan’s daughter, America’s flesh, dances and the flesh becomes spirit. Dances the poet’s boyhood memories of star and lake, of “sleek boat nibbling margin grass”; dances at last into the life of an Indiana mother, home from a frustrate trek to California for gold, who is bidding her son farewell; he is going east again to follow the sea.”

-Waldo Frank (xxxii)

Ave Maria

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“In distant years a time will come when Ocean will release the chains of things and the mighty earth will be revealed and Tiphys  will disclose new worlds, and there will be no ultimate Thule to be a limit to the lands”

-Seneca