I have outlived the poet I'm sharing with you today. He was only 28 years old when he died. You've probably heard of him… He is the author of The Red Badge of Courage.
He had articles published by the age of 16, quit school at the age of 20 (school just wasn't for him… I totally get that! ha) and had a novel published at 22. He was a war correspondent for the Spanish-American War, was ship wrecked off the coast for Florida at the age of 25 where he was stuck in a dinghy for a several days. He wrote about it in a short story called 'The Open Boat'. He spent a couple of years living in England and covering conflicts in Greece and Cuba. It's been said that Stephen Crane's writing inspired the writings of many authors including Ernest Hemmingway.
But I remember him for a short, perceptive and kind of silly poem we read in high school:
"Think as I think," said a man,
"Or you are abominably wicked;
You are a toad."
And after I had thought of it,
I said, "I will, then, be a toad."
- Stephen Crane
The Black Riders and Other Lines (1895)