Ohio State University
Howard Moss’ essay, “Disorder as Myth: Hart Crane’s The Bridge,” opens with the claim that Hart Crane’s “magnificent failure [in] attempting to create a contemporary American Myth [in The Bridge] has become a legend and platitude” (Moss 1943: 32). Crane’s failure, according to Moss, stemmed from wrongfully merging chaos in modern civilization into “some sort of structure,” a structure of heteronormativity and normative canonization. Moss, however, overlooks Crane’s obsession with language and architecture which informed and modulated Crane’s so-called “failure.” These elements, I argue, are closely aligned with Crane’s notions of aesthetic and mysticism. This analysis is an investigation of Crane’s so-called “magnificent failures” in the context his poem “To Brooklyn Bridge.”
Keywords: Hart Crane; Modernity; Modernism; Semantics; American Poetry; Spirituality; Aesthetics.