If not for the talk of cars and elevators, you could be forgiven for thinking this poem was written way before the 20th century. Crane goes nuts with the fancy words, old-fashioned speech, and references to things your great-grandparents probably don't even remember, like acetylene lamps. So, yes, this is quite a hard poem, and you might only catch half of what's going on in the first few readings. But it's not an impossible poem, and Crane never meant for you to treat it like a formal logic puzzle. He's more concerned with atmosphere and his crazy metaphors. You should definitely make use of Shmoop's "Line-By-Line Summary" as your Sherpa up this mountain.