Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Poetry Wednesday: The Heart

In my clearing out of rooms, closets, drawers, I keep running across interesting things that distract me from my task.  One such thing was a collection of poems in a book entitled Poetry Out Loud.  It contains a considerable amount of classical poetry, but also some more modern works.  I've already used a couple from the book.  Today I've selected another to share for our poetry Wednesday.  The ending of this poem is the title of a best-seller book (which I haven't read).  The complete, albeit short, poem is more shocking and graphic.  As observed in the book, a parable with an appalling lesson--"the human capacity for alienation and self-hate that feeds upon itself and twists the mind."

The Heart
Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter--bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."


Nicholas V. said...

I have always liked Stephen Crane's prose, but I did not know he also wrote poetry. My loss!
Thank you for this introduction to his poetical works, Bekkieann. I shall now go looking for more of his poems.
This poem is brilliant! Short, almost epigrammatic, and so rich with imagery and emotive force.

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Nor did I. And how true that we do often feed upon our bitter memories rather than fuel ourselves with the good ones.