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Tennessee Williams reads Hart Crane, poems from The Bridge

The Bridge, it’s said, was Hart Crane’s reaction to T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, which he admired very much, but Crane wanted to write about a much happier, and more American, landscape. For awhile he was in love with a sailor whose father had a home in Brooklyn Heights. Crane lived there for a time. He had a beautiful view of southern Manhattan and wrote to his mother in 1924:

Just imagine looking out your window directly on the East River with nothing intervening between your view of the Statue of Liberty, way down the harbour, and the marvelous beauty of Brooklyn Bridge close above you on your right! All of the great new skyscrapers of lower Manhattan are marshaled directly across from you, and there is a constant stream of tugs, liners, sail boats, etc in procession before you on the river! It’s really a magnificent place to live…

In the 1970s, I bought an LP of Tennessee Williams reading some of Hart Crane’s poems and recently had them digitized so I could share them with you. It’s a Caedmon recording. Williams’ reading is sometimes sublime, sometimes not. But the fact that Tennessee is here reading to us is a gift enough.

To Brooklyn Bridge

The Harbor Dawn

The Dance


Cutty Sark

Southern Cross


  1. tennesee is perfect for hart- o so luvly- i luv the juicy word school of poetry- wallace, dylan, hart, gerard, – nobuddy doing it much today which is fine w me- leaves the field to me!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. wonderful Don. Will listen to all of them later.

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