Letter to Waldo Frank (April 21, 1924)

For many days, now, I have gone about quite dumb with something for which "happiness" must be too mild a term. At any rate, my aptitude for communication, such as it is!, has been limited to one person alone, and perhaps for the first time in my life (and, I can only think that it is for the last, so far is my imagination from the conception of anything more profound and lovely than this love). I have wanted to write you more than once, but it will take many letters to let you know what I mean (for myself, at least) when I say that I have seen the Word made Flesh. I mean nothing less, and I know now that there is such a thing as indestructibility. In the deepest sense, where flesh became transformed through intensity of response to counter-response, where sex was beaten out, where a purity of joy was reached that included tears. It’s true, Waldo, that so much more than my frustrations and multitude of humiliations has been answered in this reality and promise that I feel that whatever event the future holds in justified beforehand. And I have been able to give freedom and life which was acknowledged in the ecstasy of walking hand in hand across the most beautiful bridge of the world, the cables enclosing us and pulling us upward in such a dance as I have never walked and never can walk with another.

Note the above address [110 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn], and you will see that I am living in the shadow of that bridge. It is so quiet here; in fact, it’s like the moment of the communion with the "religious gunman" in my ["For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen"] where the edge of the bridge leaps over the edge of the street. It was in the evening darkness of its shadow that I started the last part of that poem. Imagine my surprise when Emil brought me to this street where, at the very end of it, I saw a scene that was more familiar than a hundred factual previsions could have rendered it! And there is all the glorious dance of the river directly beyond the back window of the room I am to have as soon as Emil’s father moves out, which is to be soon. Emil will be back then from S. America where he had to ship for wages as a ship’s writer. That window is where I would be most remembered of all: the ships, the harbor, and the skyline of Manhattan, midnight, morning, or evening – rain, snow, or sun, it is everything from mountains to the walls of Jerusalem and Nineveh, and all related in actual contact with the changelessness of the many waters that surround it. I think the sea has thrown itself upon me and been answered, at least in part, and I believe I am a little changed – not essentially, but changed and transubstantiated as anyone is who has asked a question and been answered.

… I shall never, of course, be able to give any account of it to anyone in direct terms, but you will be here and not so far from now. Then we shall take a walk across the bridge to Brooklyn (as well as to Estador, for all that!). Just now I feel the flood tide again the way it seemed to me just before I left Cleveland last year, and I feel like slapping you on the back every half hour.

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Title Letter to Waldo Frank (April 21, 1924) Type of Content Other Writing by Poets
Criticism Author Hart Crane Criticism Target Hart Crane
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 01 Jul 2021
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication O My Land, My Friends: The Selected Letters of Hart Crane
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