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I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
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Daemon
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 12:00:00 AM
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I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.

Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
Jagadeesh Bangalore
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 12:47:04 AM

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Daemon wrote:
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.

Stephen Crane (1871-1900)


What a grotesque quotation for the First Day of a New Year!!!! Boo hoo!

The administrators / moderators could have been more careful & selective. Brick wall
Mariusz Kulesza
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 12:56:24 AM

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I think that you are absolutely right, Jagadeesh. The quotation of Oscar Wilde would be much better!
Verbatim
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 1:11:46 AM
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In the Desert
By Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;

“But I like it
“Because it is bitter,
“And because it is my heart.”


Source: Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2004)
Bully_rus
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 3:29:49 AM
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"Then doomsday is near..." There's heavy fight for the core of the creature, though it's unclear who's winning at this point.
CheVegas ☁️ ✈ ☁️
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 4:37:12 AM

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Screw delicate sensibilities. This is an excellent quotation/poem for commencing 2015.

Well done, Daemon! Finally, your serving something interesting.
ChristopherJohnson
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 4:39:16 AM

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Location: Tbilisi, T'bilisi, Georgia
Jagadeesh Bangalore wrote:
Daemon wrote:
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.

Stephen Crane (1871-1900)


What a grotesque quotation for the First Day of a New Year!!!! Boo hoo!

The administrators / moderators could have been more careful & selective. Brick wall

Kind of unhealthy. Characteristic of Mr Crane's ''artistic'' style.
sandeep patra
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 6:07:44 AM

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What kind of quote is this....it's not that suitable for a New Year Quotation....
uuaschbaer
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 6:26:34 AM

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Maybe everyone who finds this quote unsuitable for the day of the year could provide an example of the sort of quote they'd like to see instead; I think that might be interesting.
Omar Mariani
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 9:16:28 AM

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Stephen Crane (1871–1900) -Short Biography and Interpretation, literary analysis, of the peom-

Stephen Crane was one of America's foremost REALISTIC writers, and his works have been credited with marking the beginning of modern American NATURALISM. His Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage (1895) is a classic of American literature that REALISTICALLY depicts the psychological complexities of fear and courage on the battlefield. Influenced by William Dean Howells's theory of REALISM

You can understand the reason why readers might find this poem grotesque, shocking, disgusting, lacking in taste; but it is precisely that kind of feeling that goes to show Stephen Crane's success, that is exactly what he set out to do simply because he was an excellent example of American Naturalism and Impressionism.

Besides one is free to like or dislike, love or hate; but let's admit that one man's meat is another man's poison and so, there is no disputing about tastes for the simple reason that there is no rationale behind tastes that can possibly account for them

Literary Analysis

What is the meaning, the message of this poem? Let's go line by line

a.- "In the desert I saw a creature, naked, bestial, who, squatting upon the ground, ..."

The naked bestial creature squatting on the ground he saw in the desert is MAN, all alone or feeling lonely in this inhospitable environment (in the desert: the world) This is man, presented more like a beast (bestial creature) and even his crouching position seems to be pointing in that direction (squatting on the ground)

b.- "Held his heart in his hands, ..."

This is MAN, all alone, in a face-to-face bitter confrontation, a head-on collision with his innermost feelings; the figurative heart being the centre of feelings, emotions and all kinds of burning desires, instinctive appetites, destructive impulses, glaring contradictions and unreflective urges

c.- "And ate of it ..."

Whatever can be left for Man to do with all his overwhelming feelings and raw, pent-up emotions; whether humane or beastly? Come to grips with it all; admit, become fully aware that that is his own truth, his own self, his own reality and feed on it all (eat of it). Then choose: improve wherever there is room for improvement or not but be acquainted with it all

d.- "I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter -- bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."

The conclusion, the wind-up, the way the poet ties up loose ends is downright masterly

On being asked whether what is being eaten is good, this man of sound mind comes to the healthy, sane conclusion that, although what he is going through, experiencing (eating) may not be all that pleasant, palatable (bitter), he does not reject it (I like it) because that is what he really is, showing that he has got to know himself and now knows exactly what to do with his life

Reflection:

There are lots of human beings who go through life grinning their way through it believing they are happy but without growing up, without getting to know themselves, without puzzling out who they really are, total strangers to themselves.- Result: a wasted life (they have never eaten of their own heart either out of ignorance or out of fear or ...)

Piece of Advice for myself in the first place and for everybody else:

"Let's plunge into the sacred fountain of our innermost feelings and come out of it as wet as we possibly can" (Pity that some plunge but come out of it bone dry)

The Happiest of Year to Everybody!!!
ChristineC
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 9:19:57 AM

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sandeep patra wrote:
What kind of quote is this....it's not that suitable for a New Year Quotation....



right. I agreed.Shame on you
striker
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 12:21:34 PM
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the red badge of courage was my favour
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 1:32:23 PM

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A strange choice for New Year's Day, true, but it's certainly meaty.
I'm intrigued by Omar Mariani's view. I was with him until the "I like it".
Wanderer
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 1:40:01 PM

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I like it, and I agree with Omar. I think that introspection is of great profit, especially at the beginning of a New Year. It is about the difference between spirit and soul. Maybe, it is the duality of flesh and spirit. Know thy self.
Verbatim
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 6:58:03 PM
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Eat your heart out, creature, you'll never find that yearned for godly resemblance in it. You alone can put it there.
Barnacle Barney Bill
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 7:24:34 PM

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uuaschbaer wrote:
Maybe everyone who finds this quote unsuitable for the day of the year could provide an example of the sort of quote they'd like to see instead; I think that might be interesting.


“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”
― Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Miriam...
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 9:25:12 PM

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Thank you, Barnacle Barney Bill, for Lord Tennyson's poem...In fact, I love this little poem. And it strikes me that this poem has more to do with the feelings of the new year than what Crane's Poem does, as well as some of the interpretations of it - which seem depressing, heavy, and blaming with criticism and judgement, and preachy ill-omens. No one lives their life and remains unscathed.

I think Tennyson has captured that peculiar moment of excitement; of sadness and joy and tears that one feels at mid-night when everyone sings auld lang syne and all the confetti floats and falls and kisses and good wishes are given - when everyone gathers courage and acknowledges their losses, and hopes for the release of suffering and the sweetness of life in the coming year.

Auld Lang Syne
Verbatim
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 10:34:17 PM
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Remember for next New Year: "Ring out the false, ring in the true."d'oh!
Dr WWWW
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 10:52:16 PM

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I'm with you, Barnacle.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

No doubt there is a time to chew on your heart, like it or not, but this is the season for hope.
ChristineC
Posted: Friday, January 2, 2015 8:56:53 AM

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Barnacle Barney Bill wrote:
uuaschbaer wrote:
Maybe everyone who finds this quote unsuitable for the day of the year could provide an example of the sort of quote they'd like to see instead; I think that might be interesting.


“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”
― Alfred, Lord Tennyson




love it!! thanks
Miriam...
Posted: Friday, January 2, 2015 3:41:41 PM

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To Verbatim: Very true my dear, very true.:)

In thinking further about Crane's poem, I suppose if I were to apply it to the sentiments of the new year, I would think of it as being a humble acceptance of one's self; an acknowledgement of one's sins and human frailty.

One must 'own' one's true self, one's personal history; not rewrite the story, making it more 'good' - more 'palatable'. I personally believe this is the great lesson about ourselves we must all learn. It is not that we are proud of our faults, and perhaps the ugly and unsavory aspects of ourselves, and our lives; but to uphold what is true about ourselves.

We cannot truly love ourselves and fully embrace our being-ness - the actual 'holy-ness' of ourselves - and give dignity to our humanity by disengaging from our selves and pretending we are something - someone - other than who and what we truly are.

The 'disengaging from our self' is , in its self, an act of self-hatred - a self-mutilation...Let us not be so quick to hack our selves to death when there are so many others so eager to do so for us.

Admitting our faults to ourselves and to others with the sincere wish to overcome them, is to honor one's truth. I personally think it is worse to assassinate our integrity by covering up our past actions or personal history; or coating it in flour and sugar and trying to pass it off as a doughnut; then to stoically withstand the judgments of others and hold fast to one's personal truth and self worth.
pedro
Posted: Friday, January 16, 2015 5:16:05 AM

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I missed this one. You would think twice about inviting him to a dinner party.
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Friday, January 16, 2015 3:01:08 PM

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pedro wrote:
I missed this one. You would think twice about inviting him to a dinner party.

Hannibal Lecter: "If I tell you what it is, I'm afraid you won't even try it."
He wouldn't have had a problem if Crane were his dinner guest.
Verbatim
Posted: Friday, January 16, 2015 5:05:25 PM
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Ah, but one knows Who's Coming to Dinner, and what's in the potluck--no need to guess.
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