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Stephen Crane "War Is Kind" Poem animation

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Published on Mar 5, 2011

Heres a virtual movie of the celebrated American author and poet Stephen Crane reading his exquisite bitter sweet anti war poem "War Is Kind" Which was published in his second collection of poems in 1899. War is Kind is the first poem of Stephen Cranes second collection of poems, War is Kind and Other Lines, published in 1899, less than a year before he died. The poem is sometimes referred to by its first line, Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind. The subject of the poem is war and its effects. In this way it echoes the stories and scenes from Cranes Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage. Though Crane had been turned down because of poor health when he volunteered to enlist in the U.S. Navy, he saw his share of war and death as a journalist, covering conflicts in Greece, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Spain. When Crane published War is Kind and Other Lines he and his wife, Cora, were deeply in debt. Having already established his literary reputation at 23 as the author of The Red Badge of Courage and many newspaper stories on wars around the globe, Crane was able to secure an advance for the collection. Many of the short parable-like, densely imagistic lyrics in the collection deal with Gods absence, the indifference of nature, the ironies of war, and the vagaries of love. War is Kind itself is a 26-line poem in five stanzas focusing on the emotional loss of three women whose lover, father, and son, respectively, have died in war. Cranes detailed snapshots of the fallen men in the first, third, and fifth stanzas evoke the savagery of war and its inherent cruelty. The indented second and fourth stanzas function as the poems chorus, and provide more generalized images of war and cutting statements about the military. The poems speaker, simultaneously sympathetic with the victims of war and cynical about the purposes of war, implicitly criticizes the image of the romantic hero, showing in graphic scenes the realities of battlefield death and the emotional torment it causes for those left behind. Stephen Crane (November 1, 1871 June 5, 1900) was an American novelist, short story writer, poet and journalist. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation. Crane died of tuberculosis in a Black Forest sanatorium at the age of 28. At the time of his death, Crane had become an important figure in American literature. He was nearly forgotten, however, until two decades later when critics revived interest in his life and work. Stylistically, Crane's writing is characterized by descriptive vividness and intensity, as well as distinctive dialects and irony. Common themes involve fear, spiritual crisis and social isolation. Although recognized primarily for The Red Badge of Courage, which has become an American classic, Crane is also known for his unconventional poetry and heralded for short stories such as "The Open Boat", "The Blue Hotel", "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky", and The Monster. His writing made a deep impression on 20th century writers, most prominent among them Ernest Hemingway, and is thought to have inspired the Modernists and the Imagists. Kind Regards Jim Clark All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2010 War is Kind............... Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind, Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky And the affrighted steed ran on alone, Do not weep. War is kind. Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment, Little souls who thirst for fight, These men were born to drill and die. The unexplained glory flies above them. Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom-- A field where a thousand corpses lie. Do not weep, babe, for war is kind. Because your father tumbles in the yellow trenches, Raged at his breast, gulped and died, Do not weep. War is kind. Swift blazing flag of the regiment, Eagle with crest of red and gold, These men were born to drill and die. Point for them the virtue of slaughter, Make plain to them the excellence of killing And a field where a thousand corpses lie. Mother whose heart hung humble as a button On the bright splendid shroud of your son, Do not weep. War is kind!

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