the archivist May 30, 2006
English: Cora Taylor Crane with author Stephen...
Cora Taylor Crane with Stephen Crane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is sometimes forgotten that Crane wrote poetry–or anything other than The Red Badge of Courage, for that matter–and in his collection The Black Riders, from which this selection comes, he himself referred to them as “lines” and not poems.

XL.

And you love me

I love you.

You are, then, cold coward.

Aye; but, beloved,
When I strive to come to you,
Man’s opinions, a thousand thickets,
My interwoven existence,
My life,
Caught in the stubble of the world
Like a tender veil —
This stays me.
No strange move can I make
Without noise of tearing
I dare not.

If love loves,
There is no world
Nor word.
All is lost
Save thought of love
And place to dream.
You love me?

I love you.

You are, then, cold coward.

Aye; but, beloved —

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