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…

Younger Girl, by John Sebastian

Hugh Shirley Candyside - John Sebastian in concert
Hugh Shirley Candyside – John Sebastian performing in concert in East Lansing, Michigan, August 1970 – from Wikimedia Commons

John Benson Sebastian is an American singer and songwriter born in 1944. In 1965 he formed the band The Lovin’ Spoonful, for which he sang and played the guitar, also he authored all their hit songs during that period. He left the band in 1968 to start a solo career that went on until now. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Mark Twain on the sexual superiority of women and girls

Mark Twain and Dorothy Quick
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and Dorothy Quick aboard the Minnetonka (July 1907) – from historicaltimes.tumblr.com

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (b. November 30, 1835; d. April 21, 1910), the American writer and humorist better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was a free mind who evolved towards radicalism as he aged, opposing slavery and American imperialism, promoting civil rights and hailing labour unions. Although he was raised as a Presbyterian, he became distrustful of dogma and established religion. He did not publish in his lifetime his most controversial works about religion, and some of them were withheld from publication after his death, because his family disapproved them, notably: the novel The Mysterious Stranger published in 1916, the short story Little Bessie first published in 1972, and the collection of essays Letters From The Earth, written around 1909 and published only in 1962. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Shoes of the Wind, Hilda Conkling’s second collection

Hilda Conkling (1922)
Artist unknown – Hilda Conkling (1922) – from Shoes of the Wind

Two years after Poems by a Little Girl in 1920, Hilda Conkling published her second book of verses: Shoes of the Wind, A Book of Poems. She was 12 years old when the book appeared, and the poems in it were probably written between the ages of 9 and 12. They show a great maturity, with a literary style generally close to that of adulthood. On the other hand, they seem more conventional than her early works in the first volume, where she could as a child let her imagination flow unfettered. 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…

A Little Girl Lost, by William Blake

František Kupka - The little girl with a ball
František Kupka – The little girl with a ball (1908)

The visionary poet and painter William Blake (b. 28 November 1757, d. 12 August 1827) went largely unrecognised during his lifetime, but he is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. In the poem “A Little Girl Lost” published in Songs of Experience (1794), he envisages a future where children and adolescents will freely enjoy nudity and love, and the religious condemnation of these pleasures will cause indignation. He would have been dismayed to notice that 225 years after publishing that poem, things have not much progressed in the Anglo-Saxon world. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…