Book Recommendation: ‘Stephen Crane: Complete Poems’ by Stephen Crane

April is Poetry Month, so to celebrate, all of our recommendations this month will be poetry collections.

Recommended by STEVEN RICE, Manager, Door County Historical Museum and Archives

Most famous for his classic Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane had an outsized impact on American literature despite his short body of work and tragically brief life. His prose and journalism are well known, but his poetry is equally worthy of attention.

This slim volume collects all of Crane’s published poems. “War is Kind” and “The Black Riders and Other Lines” are the stars of the show, featuring his arresting minimalism and powerful moral vision. The imagery in these works touches on many of Crane’s lifelong themes: war and conflict, the absurdity of the human condition, life and death. Sometimes haunting and often unforgettable, this is poetry at its best.