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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent companion to the 'The Bridge'..., September 12, 2012
This review is from: Hart Crane's 'The Bridge': An Annotated Edition (Hardcover)
I had tried reading Hart Crane's 'The Bridge' a number of times before finding this book, and despite being moved by Crane's language and the sections of the poem I could understand, I always found myself ultimately being defeated by the poem's obscurity and the wealth of allusions within the poem that I was unfamiliar with. This book solves that problem by providing annotations for all (or most) of Crane's allusions. Unlike many annotated poems and guides, however, this book goes further and provides some background about Crane's intentions, the themes of the poem, its relation to the poets who most influenced Crane's vision (especially the opposed visions of Whitman and Eliot), as well as historical and biographical information.

This book seems superior to me to the other annotated poems I have read (for example, the annotated versions of Eliot's The Waste Land (Norton Critical Editions), or the various guides to The Cantos of Ezra Pound (New Directions Paperbook)) precisely because the notes are longer than usual. They do not simply explain the allusions but attempt to go into some depth about the overall meaning of the poem which is essential if you really want to understand what Hart Crane is up to in 'The Bridge'. It is true that the notes become somewhat speculative at times. Sometimes the interpretations presented in the notes seem a bit out there, but the notes often offer more than one possible interpretation for a given passage. My philosophy when interpreting a poem like this is: the more possible interpretations given the better, even if some of them seem out there, or fail to connect with a particular reader. The notes that did not connect with me may connect with someone else, or they may connect with me at a later time when I re-read the poem and have thought about it more. At the very least they will stimulate thought, and all of the interpretations offered in the notes certainly provide much food for thought.

The bottom line is: this book has increased my appreciation for Crane's poem a hundred fold, and that on its own makes this book well worth reading. I would also like to recommend another book on Hart Crane's poetry which I have actually only just started, but it is so good so far I feel comfortable recommending it even without having finished it Hart Crane's Poetry: "Appollinaire lived in Paris, I live in Cleveland, Ohio" by John T. Irwin. It is the perfect book for anyone who has worked their way through this annotated edition of Crane's poem and wants to go even deeper.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitive, ish., October 29, 2011
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This review is from: Hart Crane's 'The Bridge': An Annotated Edition (Hardcover)
Despite a strong critical interest in Crane since almost immediately following his death, The Bridge only this year received its first annotated edition. While some glosses are overlong, and while Kramer created the annotations within the context of a graduate seminar, granting his students' often self-indulgent thoughts and opinions perhaps too much weight, this will surely be a classic in the field for years to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, December 20, 2013
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This review is from: Hart Crane's 'The Bridge': An Annotated Edition (Hardcover)
Crane is a great poet, and if you want to actually understand this rather difficult poem, you need to get this book. Enough said.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY BRIDGE!, February 13, 2014
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This review is from: Hart Crane's 'The Bridge': An Annotated Edition (Hardcover)
It's sad that I don't need the annotation because, unlike someone younger (I'm 73), I understand his references, so the note are lagniappe (see Cajun translator).
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Hart Crane's 'The Bridge': An Annotated Edition
Hart Crane's 'The Bridge': An Annotated Edition by Lawrence Kramer (Hardcover - March 7, 2011)
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