Stars scribble on our eyes the frosty sagas,
The Gleaming cantos of unvanquished space...
O sinewy silver biplane, nudging the wind's withers!
There, from Kill Devil Hill at Kitty Hawk
Two brothers in their twinship left the dune;
Warping the gale, the Wright windwrestlers veered
Capeward, then blading the wind's flank, banked and spun
What ciphers risen from prophetic script,
What marathons new-set between the stars!
The soul, by naphtha fledged into new reaches
Already knows the closer clasp of Mars,—
New latitudes, unknotting, soon give place
To what fierce schedules, rife of doom apace!
— Hart Crane
"Cape Hatteras" appears in Complete Poems of Hart Crane, edited by Marc Simon, 1933, Liveright Publishing Corporation.
Home page image: "Wegbereiter Ikarus," print, woodblock on paper, by Wilhelm Geissler, 1966. (Courtesy NASM)