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The Visible The Untrue by Hart Crane

Apollo, The Blimp, and the Window Who Loved Him

Ok, so this episode's a bit of a thing. The poem we picked ended up having some relatively strong sexual elements. Those sexual elements are also dealing in particular with gay male sexuality. I do, however, want to stress that we would be expressing the same discomfort (and making similar awkward jokes) if the poem were dealing with hetrosexual sexuality. I think I speak for both Keir and myself when I say that sex is weird, terrifying, and hilarious regardless of the configuration of consenting adults who are having it.

In a related, but distinct issue, throughout the course of the episode Keir and I both express frustration at interpretations of the poem which focus on how Crane feels as a gay man at a time when that was not accepted by soceity, and I think it may come across the wrong way. We don't mean to minimize the difficulty or the emotional complexity of that situation, or to say that it's not a worthy subject for poetry (Indeed, those elements of the poem 100% play into our ultimate insterpretation). It's just when you analyze a poem you're not looking for "answers" like "oh, it's about being gay in the 30's", you're looking for deeper questions, and often times these kinds of very surfacey readings just serve to distract one from what's actually interesting about the poem.

Crane's poems are still in copyright, so I'll refrain from reproducing the text of today's poem here, but does have (what I presume to be) a scan of the poem's original appearance in January 1933's issue of Poetry magazine which I've linked below.
As we touch on in the episode, the capitalization here isn't consistent with the book I'm referencing, but it really doesn't have much of an impact on this particular poem. (Basically, the one on capitalizes on each new line, while my edition only capitalizes on the start of a new sentence- as indicated by a period/full stop or question mark). Also, I'm sorry week's episode's a bit late and that the audio quality is a bit lacking, this was our first attempt with a new recording setup and it caused a couple of hiccups, which should all be ironed out next week.

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