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…

Poetic Eros

Odilon Redon - The birth of Venus
Odilon Redon – The birth of Venus (1912) – from WikiArt

In the post “Components of Love” I presented the three types of love and friendship according to the ancient Greeks:

  • Eros is sexual love, generally driven by beauty; it is discriminating and it can be versatile, blooming or withering fast.
  • Storge is natural love, as it exists between members of a family, or the love of parents for children; contrarily to Eros, it is unconditional and long-lasting, and it grows slowly.
  • Philia is friendship, generally within a group, mediated by activities shared in common; it includes also philanthropy and humanitarian work.

The ancient Greeks also used the word Agape for affection and tenderness, similar to Storge. Then in Christianity, this word evolved to mean a purely spiritual, selfless and undemanding love embracing all humanity; in fact, such an ideal love is extremely rare in real human beings. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Alice, by Aleister Crowley

Zinaida Serebriakova - Sleeping girl in the blue
Zinaida Serebriakova – Sleeping girl in the blue (Katyusha on a blanket) ( 1923) – from Pigtails in Paint

Around 1900, the occultist Aleister Crowley sailed for Hawaii aboard the Nippon Maru. On the ship he met a married woman named Mary Alice Rogers and had a love affair with her. He wrote a series of poems about the romance, which he collected in a booklet entitled Alice: An Adultery. It was published privately in 1903, then a second edition was published by the Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth in 1905. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe

W.S. Hartshorn - Edgar Allan Poe
W.S. Hartshorn – Edgar Allan Poe (1848) – from “Famous People” collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-USZ62-10610]

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19th, 1809 — October 7th, 1849) is an American writer known for the strangeness both of his writing and of his life. He was named Edgar Poe, the second child of two traveling stage actors; his father abandoned his family in 1810, and his mother died on December 8th, 1811. His father was also dead then, and Edgar was taken into the home of John and Frances Allan, who served as a foster family, though they never formally adopted him. From them he got his middle name Allan. The family moved to Great Britain in 1815, then back to Richmond, VA, in 1820, so Edgar was educated in both countries. 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…

Hilda Conkling’s dreams of love

Jeremy Lipking - Adrift
Jeremy Lipking – Adrift (2013) – from Art Renewal Center

LOVELINESS
by Hilda Conkling

LOVELINESS that dies when I forget
Comes alive when I remember.

In previous posts, I have presented two themes from Poems by a Little Girl (1920), Hilda Conkling’s first volume: dreams, often involving fairies and nature, then rose petals, which she associates with her heart, or with a dove representing love. In her second volume Shoes of the Wind (1922), the topics of dreams, roses and love become united within two beautiful poems, but here love becomes more personal. Indeed, Hilda was no more a little girl, she entered into puberty, so her fantasies and desires took a more womanly form. Also the style of her poetry matured, with a quasi-adult sophistication. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

The summit of the amorous mountain, by Aleister Crowley

August von Pettenkofen - Study of a Nude Young Girl
August Xaver Karl von Pettenkofen – Study of a Nude Young Girl – from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, via Wikimedia Commons

Today I present an erotic poem, probably full of hidden sexual meanings. Maybe the title refers to the Mons Veneris, and the four last verses of the first stanza also seem to hint at some sexual acts whose description was considered too obscene to be told explicitly in the early 20th century. The poem ends in ecstasy with a reference to Satan and Hell, as the latter seems to be more pleasurable than the Heaven of religion. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Enivrez-vous, par Charles Baudelaire

MoonCCat - Absinthe Minette
MoonCCat – Absinthe Minette

L’écrivain français Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) fut un précurseur dans de nombreux domaines, en particulier il développa une nouvelle forme d’écriture, le poème en prose. Ainsi 50 de ceux-ci, rédigés entre 1855 et 1864, furent rassemblés dans son recueil posthume Le Spleen de Paris (également intitulé Petits Poèmes en prose), publié pour la première fois en 1869 par Michel Levy dans le quatrième volume des Œuvres complètes de Baudelaire. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…