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About this poet

Stephen Crane was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1871. His books include the poetry collections The Black Riders and Other Lines (Copeland & Day, 1895), War Is Kind (Frederick A. Stokes, 1899), and most famously, the novel, The Red Badge of Courage (D. Appleton & Co., 1895). He died in June of 1900.

XXXV [A man saw a ball of gold in the sky]

A man saw a ball of gold in the sky; 
He climbed for it, 
And eventually he achieved it—
It was clay. 

Now this is the strange part: 
When the man went to the earth 
And looked again, 
Lo, there was the ball of gold. 
Now this is the strange part: 
It was a ball of gold. 
Aye, by the heavens, it was a ball of gold.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane, born in 1871, was a prolific writer of poetry and fiction.

by this poet

poem
Behold, from the land of the farther suns 
I returned. 
And I was in a reptile-swarming place, 
Peopled, otherwise, with grimaces, 
Shrouded above in black impenetrableness. 
I shrank, loathing, 
Sick with it. 
And I said to him, 
“What is this?”
He made answer slowly, 
“Spirit, this is a world; 
“This was your
poem
Many red devils ran from my heart
And out upon the page,
They were so tiny
The pen could mash them.
And many struggled in the ink.
It was strange
To write in this red much
Of things from my heart.
poem
You say you are holy,
And that
Because I have not seen you sin.
Aye, but there are those
Who see you sin, my friend.