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Crane began writing verse in his early teenage years, and though he never attended college, read regularly on his own, including the works of the Elizabethan dramatists and poets. When living in New York City, he associated with major literary figures of the time, but his heavy drinking and chronic instability prevented the development of lasting friendships. Crane's major work, the book-length poem, The Bridge, depicts an ecstatic image of the historical and spiritual significance of America. Crane committed suicide in 1932, at the age of thirty-three, by jumping from the deck of a steamship while sailing back to New York from Mexico in order to attend to this father's estate.