Just one more thought on this for today. This contrast noted earlier between Crane's finish and the others' various ongoing (quasi-narrative, Wordsworthian) agons : how key this is to 20th-cent. aesthetics! (All the debates about "process", the autonomy (or lack thereof) of the art-object, etc.)

And I am reminded again of a remark made to me at a Russ-Amer poetry conference many years ago by Elena Shvarts (we were talking about how the Russians memorized their poems for recital) : "Russian poets compose the poem in their heads, then write it all down. Americans start writing, and it takes them a long time to finish, if they do."

And this notion of finish can perhaps be linked with the notions of the self-sustaining, free-standing image in Crane & Mandelstam et al. Which leads back, ultimately, perhaps, to the Byzantine tradition of the magnetic, charismatic icon.

Sailin' to Byzantium.

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