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Quotes

Quote #4

Terrific threshold of the prophet's pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover's cry,-- (lines 31-32)

Crane would have been right at home alongside Beat writers like Allen Ginsberg, who also mixed up his "prophets" and "pariahs." Those at the margins of society, the underclass and the persecuted, are the ones worthy of attention. Try comparing this poem to Ginsberg's Howl.

Quote #5

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear. (lines 37-38)

This is the other point in the poem where the speaker reveals something about his class. What's he doing waiting by the piers at night? Trying to catch a glimpse of the boats? Nah. Lots of readers think this is a veiled reference to a cruising spot for local gay men. As a persecuted minority himself, Crane's sympathy for the marginalized is understandable.

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