Line 52: “Scalped Yankees”- According to OED “Yankees” is a nickname for a native or inhabitant of New England, or, more widely, of the northern states generally; during the War of Secession applied by the Confederates to the soldiers of the Federal army (OED)
Line 48,51,52: According to critics “the poets kinsman are all dead and gone: they are the ‘Dead rangers’ and ‘Scalped Yankees’ mentioned in the stanza, and the vanished patriarch race is represented by ‘slain Iroquois,’ who stand for all the ‘angered slain,’ they lost dynasties of the Indian race which in turn stand for the mythic consciousness. To that race, the poet must turn- as he has once already turned-for guidance. However, he must also acknowledge and accept the actual condition of things, which includes s deep cleavage between present and past: the poet has to ‘Shoulder the curse of sundered parentage,’ as a terrible truth, with a consequent personal responsibility he cannot avoid” (Lewis 351).
Line 54: “Birch Hill”- “the visible must be the untrue because inside society the homosexual poet is obligated to suppress his genuine desire. According to critics on June 27 1928, Crane wrote to Yvor Winters from Patterson, New York- where this poem is set mentioning, ‘a cashiered army officer turned bootlegger over on Birch Hill, who makes very good applejack’” (Giles 44).
Line 55: “With birthright by blackmail”- “because of his homosexuality crane was being blackmailed intermittently throughout his life” (Giles 164).
Line 59: “The Gate”- according to critics his urge is to “create a “myth to God” maybe arising out of nothing more than the circumstances of his own private life.” The “Gate” could also be a reference to the gate of heaven (Giles 171).
Line 65: “Emily”- Crane used second her lines in his second epigraph. However, “does ‘the gentian weaves her fingers,/The maple’s loom is red.’ – the theme of the inseparability of life and death, is imaged in terms of nature in this excerpt from a poem Crane knew as ‘Summer’s Obsequies,’ as purple gentian and blood-red maple weave blossoms that must die” (Sugg 92).
Line 65: “Isadora”- was a public performer of modern dances “in which the body strove to be vessel of spirit,” only let her to conclude sadly: “I see only the ideal. But no ideals have ever been fully successful on this earth.” “ The idealism and forbearance that characterize this quotation carry over into the tone of Crane’s Poem. Crane had been impressed by Isadora when she danced in Cleveland in 1922, and he admired her” (Sugg 92).
Line 66: “chancels”- According to OED, is a reference to ‘The eastern part of a church, appropriated to the use of those who officiate in the performance of the services’ (Parker Gloss. Archit.), and separated from the other parts by a screen, railing, etc. (OED)
Line 70: “Armour”- According to OED, this is a reference to military equipment or accoutrement, both offensive and defensive, in the widest sense; the whole apparatus of war. He is also seems to suggest “amour,”- which means; Love, affection, and friendship.(OED)