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Stephen Crane Gedichte
Stephen Crane Stephen Crane
1.11.1871, Newark – 5.6.1900, Badenweiler
IMHO sind viele Gedichte Cranes genial. Versuche mal ein Gedicht zur Erkenntnis oder zur Wahrheit zu schreiben! Zu abstrakt? Crane meisterte es in wenigen Zeilen. Einige Gedichte sind auch äußerst provokant; vielleicht deshalb umso unbekannter. Meine Favoritenauswahl ist hier nachzulesen.

Crane A god in wrath Crane Many workmen
Crane A learned man came to me once Crane Supposing that I should have the courage
Crane A man said to the universe Crane The wayfarer
Crane A man saw a ball of gold in the sky Crane There was a man with tongue of wood
Crane A spirit sped Crane There were many who went in huddled procession
Crane If I should cast off this tattered coat Crane Think as I think
Crane In a lonely place Crane Well, then, I hate Thee, unrighteous picture
Crane I saw a man pursuing the horizon Crane When the prophet, a complacent fat man,
Crane I stood upon a high place Crane  You tell me this is God?

 I stood upon a high place,
 And saw, below, many devils
 Running, leaping,
 And carousing in sin.
 One looked up, grinning,
 And said: "Comrade! Brother!"
 You tell me this is God?
 I tell you this is a printed list,
 A burning candle and an ass.
   A god in wrath
 Was beating a man;
 He cuffed him loudly
 With thunderous blows
 That rang and rolled over the earth.
 All people came running.
 The man screamed and struggled,
 And bit madly at the feet of the god.
 The people cried:
 "Ah, what a wicked man!"
 "Ah, what a redoubtable god!"

 I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
 Round and round they sped.
 I was disturbed at this;
 I accosted the man.
 "It is futile," I said.
 "You can never —"
 "You lie," he cried,
 And ran on.
 The wayfarer,
 Perceiving the pathway to truth,
 Was struck with astonishment.
 It was thickly grown with weeds.
 "Ha," he said,
 "I see that none has passed here
 In a long time."
 Later he saw that each weed
 Was a singular knife.
 "Well," he mumbled at last,
 "Doubtless there are other roads."

 "Think as I think," said a man,
 "Or you are abominably wicked;
 You are a toad."
 And after I had thought of it,
 I said, "I will, then, be a toad."
  A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
"A sense of obligation."

In a lonely place
I encounter a sage
Who sat, all still,
Regarding a newspaper.
He accosted me:
"Sir, what is this?"
Then I saw that I was greater,
Aye, greater than this sage.
I answered him at once:
"Old, old man, it is the wisdom of the age." 
The sage looked upon me with admiration.

 "And the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the heads of the children, even unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."
 Well, then, I hate Thee, unrighteous picture;
 Wicked image, I hate Thee;
 So strike with Thy vengeance
 The heads of those little men
 Who come blindly.
 It will be a brave thing.
Exodus 20:5 Holy Bible, International Version:
"...for I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me."
2.Mose 20:5, Übersetzung Martin Luther:
"Denn ich, der Herr, dein Gott, bin ein eifriger Gott, der da heimsucht der Väter Missetat an den Kindern bis in das dritte und vierte Glied, die mich hassen;"

There were many who went in huddled procession,
They knew not whither;
But, at any rate, success or calamity
Would attend all in equality.
There was one who sought a new road.
He went into direful thickets,
And ultimately he died thus, alone;
But they said he had courage.

A learned man came to me once.
He said: "I know the way,—come."
And I was overjoyed at this.
Together we hastened.
Soon, too soon, were we
Where my eyes were useless,
And I knew not the ways of my feet.
I clung to the hand of my friend;
But at last he cried: "I am lost."

Supposing that I should have the courage
To let a red sword of virtue
Plunge into my heart
Letting to the weeds of the ground
My sinful blood,
What can you offer me?
A gardened castle?
A flowered kingdom?
What? A hope?
Then hence with your red sword of virtue.

 A spirit sped
 Through spaces of night;
 And as he sped, he called:
 "God! God!"
 He went through valleys
 Of black death-slime,
 Ever calling:
 "God! God!"
 Their echoes
 From crevice and cavern
 Mocked him:
 "God! God! God!"
 Fleetly into the plains of space
 He went, ever calling:
 "God! God!"
 Eventually, then, he screamed,
 Mad in denial:
 "Ah, there is no God!"
 A swift hand,
 A sword from the sky,
 Smote him,
 And he was dead
   Many workmen
 Built a huge ball of masonry
 Upon a mountain-top.
 Then they went to the valley below,
 And turned to behold their work.
 "It is grand," they said;
 They loved the thing.
 Of a sudden, it moved:
 It came upon them swiftly;
 It crushed them all to blood.
 But some had opportunity to squeal.

A man saw a ball of gold in the sky;
He climbed for it,
And eventually he achieved it—
was clay.
Now this is the strange part:
When the man went to the earth
And looked again,
Lo, there was the ball of gold.
Now this is the strange part:
It was a ball of gold.
Aye, by the heavens, it was a ball of gold.

If I should cast off this tattered coat,
And go free into the mighty sky;
If I should find nothing there
But a vast blue,
Echoless, ignorant,—
What then?

There was a man with tongue of wood
Who essayed to sing,
And in truth it was lamentable
But there was one who heard
The clip-clapper of this tongue of wood
And knew what the man
Wished to sing,
And with that the singer was content.

When the prophet, a complacent fat man,
Arrived at the mountain-top
He cried: "Woe to my knowledge!
I intended to see good white lands
And bad black lands—
But the scene is grey."
crane Anfang – crane Literatur – crane Philosophie in der Belletristik

Stephen Crane Gedichte
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© by Herbert Huber, Am Fröschlanger 15, 83512 Wasserburg, Germany, 23.12.2001