Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Mellard, James M.||Gerber, Helmut E., 1920-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of English


Thomas; Dylan; 1914-1953; Crane; Hart; 1899-1932


The poetry of Hart Crane and Dylan Thomas is among the most controversial of this century. Both poets met with unfavorable critical response, much of which was directed against their imagery, which many critics found difficult and irrational. This study defines the esthetic behind the work of each writer, shows a similarity in that esthetic, and applies it to the poetry at various stages of its development. It addresses itself to the questions of obscurity and irrationality in Crane's and Thomas's metaphoric constructions, and offers a defense of them. Essentially, it recognizes an attempt by both Crane and Thomas to appeal to the associative responses of the reader which are latent in his consciousness. Such poetry, it concludes, is often less concerned with the rational effect of metaphor than it is with the associative effect. Thus what many critics dismiss as obscure and hopelessly incoherent often succeeds on a level which is distinct from the narrow restrictions of logical interpretation. This study concludes that there is a valid esthetic at work in Crane's and Thomas's poetry. It further notes a similarity in its manifestation in metaphor, and shows that the poetry of each can fairly be judged only by applying the esthetic to it. Ultimately, it finds that much of the criticism against the poetry is unfounded in light of the esthetic and its successful operation in the process of each poet's art.


Includes bibliographical references.


96 pages




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