Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quips and Quotations

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said: "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter-bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."

--Stephen Crane

5 comments:

  1. Better to eat it ones' self before someone else does.

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  2. is this the ultimate in self-acceptance, to eat one's own bitter heart, and like the taste?

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  3. @Badger--Yes, in this instance, sharing is not a good thing.

    @standing--I was wondering the same thing when I first came across that quote.

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  4. That's a strange little poem. All I remember about Stephen Crane is the Red Badge of Courage (is that right?). I think he wrote a lot about the horrors of war. Maybe it's referring to something related to that. In any case, the notion that one would relish one's own bitterness is pretty disturbing, but sadly, some people do.

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  5. @Dreamfarm--This is indeed the same Stephen Crane who wrote The Red Badge of Courage. He also wrote a very good short story called "The Open Boat." In fact, I was looking for a quote from that story when I came across this little poem. You're interpretation of the poem seems to be the general consenses, at least on several web sites I looked at. I myself wonder if he clings to (and munches on) his bitterness because its' the only identity he knows.

    Maybe the naked, bestial creature should start his own blog. Deal with his bitterness that way.

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