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The reputation of prose masterpieces like The Red Badge of Courage and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets ought never obscure Stephen Crane's singular contribution to American poetry. In The Black Riders (1895), War Is Kind (1899), and the best of his uncollected poems, Crane forged his own idiom: abrupt, compact, sharply visual, and brutally indifferent to the niceties of late Victorian verse. These spontaneous utterances-Crane said they came to him "in little rows, all made up, ready to be put down on paper," sometimes five or six a day-seem now like a prophetic blast of the modernist era and of the great war poetry that was to follow.
Stephen Crane (18711900) was active as a reporter around the world in addition to being an acclaimed novelist.