At the Last Point

When I look in the distance to a far point, to an island, to the farthest stretch of land, I feel a solitariness in pretending I am on that last point and think now of the Islamic criers on their open towers crowned in minarets and Walt Whitman chanting his poetic vision through centuries to find me.

Harold Bloom tells us in his introduction to Hart Crane’s Complete Works that Crane is the Orphic poet of America. Orphic from Orpheus,the Greek god of music, whose head chopped by raging women (either Maenads, Cicconians, or those jealous and desirous of his song) floated down the river Hebrus and out to the open ocean; Orpheus, whose voice parted the walls of eternity and almost lead his love free—I hear Bloom’s pronouncement and weigh it in hand and think of my distaste for competition in art for who is better than. But if it is so, that Crane was ordained with a voice of the gods, or, as the Orphic voice of America, his songs to Whitman, the solace he finds in Whitman, the lover and father he finds in Whitman, tells me of their mutual Orphic natures; as mythical singers of America.

And truly I hear the music of Whitman, the mythical, mystical voice, reflecting the mystical voice of Hart Crane across ages, pages. When the “Song of the bleeding heart/Death’s outlet song of life”, comes from the thrush who never had any choice but to sing, I think of Lincoln through Whitman, Whitman, and Crane, and the brightness they all held at times in their lives and the necessity for those bright things to sing.

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