The Jazz Age—the 1920s—American Expatriates and the Lost Generation—Paris—Speakeasies: each of these things is fascinating in and of themselves, but history tells many a sad tale of men and women who lost their lives due to the excesses of this colorful era. Hart Crane, one of America’s most accomplished—but tortured—poets, in 1932 fell prey to his own appetites, and on a return trip from Mexico to an America whose depression mirrored his own, the poet jumped into the chilly waters of the ocean and was never seen again. To Hart, the leap into the ocean may have seemed the only logical choice he had left in life.
Harold Hart Crane lived a tumultuous life. Over the course of his 33 years, he traveled frequently between Cleveland and New York City, searching for love and companionship from men and women, longing to return to the “home” he’d never really had. He published several well-received poems including The Bridge, and made notable, devoted friends like William Carlos Williams, Sherwood Anderson, and Allen Tate. Tragically, the alcoholic tendencies which sometimes inspired his work also led to his early demise. The demons which helped him to see, feel, and create art were likely responsible for his destruction.