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Five Stephen Crane Poems

Word count: 183

Song Cycle by David Sisco

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1. A man said to the universe


A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."


2. I saw a man pursuing the horizon


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]1,
"You can never -- "

"You lie," he cried,
And ran [on]2.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lindsay: "I said, "It is futile,""
2 Lidnsay: "on and on"

3. There was a man with a tongue of wood


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.


4. The wayfarer


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."


5. I stood upon a high place


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!"


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