The Wise Men, by Nathalia Crane

The Three Wise Men, Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy
The Three Wise Men, Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy (c.526) – from Wikimedia Commons

After her fourth collection Venus Invisible and Other Poems in 1928, Nathalia Crane published in 1929 the novel An Alien from Heaven, then in 1930 a long epic poem titled Pocahontas. Aferwards, nothing more from her appeared, until her fifth collection Swear by the Night and Other Poems published in 1936. In the Foreword, Louis Untermeyer gave the reason for this long silence: CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Dreams of a lonely lighthouse

Felicien Rops - Parallélisme
Felicien Rops – Parallélisme, heliogravure (c.1896) – The Art Institute of Chicago, via Wikimedia Commons

Under lockdown, many people lived through Internet, physically separated from the outer world, and regular readers of this blog were probably more assiduous in their visits, waiting eagerly for the next post scheduled three days after the preceding one. Accordingly, floating in a virtual world, I spent much time searching the Web and preparing new posts.

Meanwhile, for many, love, deprived from physical contact, living at distance, became an ideality, filling dreams and desires.

My Love and I took hands and swore,
Against the world, to be
Poets and lovers evermore,
To laugh and dream on Lethe’s shore.

— Michael Field (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper), “It was deep April, and the morn,” in Underneath the Bough (1893)

Poets and Lovers exists since one year and a half, it was born privately on March 17, 2019, becoming public on the 20th. This its 218th post. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

One year of love and poetry

Dick Whittington - Dancing pupils, Southern California
Dick Whittington – Dancing pupils, Southern California (1926) – from historyinphotos.blogspot.fr

Possibly there are some readers who, every three days at 6 p.m. Paris time, visit this site in order to read a new post. Today they will find an unusual one, similar to another one that appeared exactly six months ago, as it is not devoted to presenting a writer or a poem.

Poets and Lovers is alive since one year. The database was created on March 17, 2019, then it got its domain name on the 20th. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

The Poe Cottage, by Nathalia Crane

The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage
The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, The Bronx, New York City

Around May 1846, Edgar Allan Poe moved in a small and humble cottage in The Bronx, New York City, with his wife Virginia Eliza Clemm and her mother Maria. It would be the last home of the couple. Virginia died of tuberculosis in the cottage’s first floor bedroom on January 30, 1847; then Edgar died in mysterious circumstances in Baltimore on October 7, 1849, while he was travelling back home from Richmond. Upon hearing the news of his death, his mother-in-law Maria moved out of the cottage. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

The Proposals, by Nathalia Crane

Ruth Jonas - "The Proposals"
Ruth Jonas – illustration for “The Proposals” in Venus Invisible (1928)

In 1928 appeared Nathalia Crane’s fourth collection of poetry, Venus Invisible and Other Poems. Again, the title comes from one of the poems, but in this case not a noteworthy one. In my opinion, the most important work in the book is the long poem “Tadmor,” a strange oriental love tale with dreams and premonitions, ending in mutual worship; it is organised like an opera, alternating story, dialogues and chorus songs. In this book, the 15-year-old author shows her fully adult sophistication, which she had displayed growingly in her previous collections of verses. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

The Advisers, by Nathalia Crane

Jagubal - girl with lorito
Jagubal – girl with lorito, San Martin, Peru (2009) – from flickr, 22 January 2010

In the poem “The First Reformer” from Lava Lane, and Other Poems, Nathalia Crane told of a hummingbird who by his sweet words, kisses and caresses, persuades flowers not to be ashamed of their nudity. Now in the following poem from The Singing Crow and Other Poems, a young girl is taunted by an older girl “of the narrow shin” for openly indulging in the pleasures of love. But she finds a good advice from a philosopher parrot, a “painted Plato” who instructs her not to grieve because of the reproaches of narrow-minded people: “Love and the rites it sentries / Only the vexed condemn; / There are the lower branches— / There is the goblin stem.CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Spooks, by Nathalia Crane

Mac Harshberger - illustration for Spooks
Mac Harshberger – illustration for “Spooks” in The Singing Crow (1926)

In 1926, at age 13, Nathalia Crane published her third collection of poetry, The Singing Crow and Other Poems. The title comes from a long poem about a crow that, after having its beak torn by an arrow, becomes a wonderful singer; she returns to that topic in the first poem of the collection’s epilogue, “A singer gone.” The book got some success, and she was then dubbed “The Brooklyn Bard” (see Jessica Amanda Salmonson, “Girl Writers: Nathalia Crane, Vivienne Dayrell, & Daisy Ashford,” The Weird Review). There are several very short poems, in particular “The Colors” is often quoted: CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Nathalia Crane, aged twelve, makes fun of religion

Flor Garduño – Comunión
Flor Garduño – Comunión, Mexico (2000)

In a previous post, I presented “The First Reformer,” the first poem in Saints and Reformers, the fourth part of Lava Lane, and Other Poems, her second volume published in 1925. Then I mentioned three others that explicitly mock religion: “Sunday Morning,” “The Making of a Saint” and “The Edict.” I reproduce them here. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

The First Reformer, by Nathalia Crane

Janet Weight Reed - magical hummingbird
Janet Weight Reed – magical hummingbird – from jcrhumming.wordpress.com

The fourth part of Lava Lane, and Other Poems (1925), titled Saints and Reformers, contains six poems. Three of them explicitly mock religion. “Sunday Morning” tells of God’s activities at that moment, such as “Counting the Yiddish babies” or “Waving the popcorn scepter,” and finally “God, on a Sunday morning, / Reaching the dotage stage.” In “The Making of a Saint,” a woman dies in a garret, so “The lords of the rafters were sorry— / The spider, the moth, and the mouse,” and they manage to obtain some advantages for themselves and their garret by making her a saint. In “The Edict,” an editor advises a saint on how to write his story, so that it will be widely read. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…