Hart Crane: The Immolation
"Hart Crane: The Immolation" is the companion to "Rothko," Swartz's 14th book, the title poem of which is in nearly all respects a mirror image of the 33 section dramatic monologue of this last and current "Hart Crane," the title poem and poet's 15th volume.
The action is simply the final hours of Crane's life.
Based on exhaustive research which centers on the 3 seminal QUOTED texts, "Hart Crane" investigates the Guggenheim abortive journey to Mexico, the pathos-ridden attempt at a heterosexual escape from the very source of his own greatness, the spasms and misdeeds, the thrashings, psychic and physical, which precipitate a final leap into the sea from a steamship bound for New York City in 1932.
Crane flails jaggedly toward immolation. His work, as difficult to follow as his suicide, will certainly outlive him. This final poem, attempting to reconstruct the futility and transcendence of life AND work, may speak to both. It is a valiant attempt to do so.
The balance of this volume is given to a verse drama, "Saul," from 1987.