Nathalia Crane: The 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…

Advertisements

Nathalia Crane: 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 had manifested itself growingly in her previous collections of verses. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Nathalia Crane: The Advisers

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…

Nathalia Crane: 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: The First Reformer

Janet Weight Reed – magical hummingbird – from jcrhumming.wordpress.com (reduced)

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…

Nathalia Crane at twelve

Nathalia Crane (c.1925) – from Wikimedia Commons

In 1925, Nathalia Crane published her second volume of poetry, Lava Lane, and Other Poems, just one year after her first one, The Janitor’s boy, and Other Poems. In it she airs her sophistication, mastering poetical language, as well as scientific and technical vocabulary from several disciplines, such as botany, geology and even embryology (using the word “blastoderm” about a boy she seems to despise); she also refers to various religions and to characters from Greek mythology. Furthermore, she shows her understanding of human relations, including in some of their intimate aspects. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Nathalia Crane: Jealousy

Chinese schoolchildren give a demonstration of their military skills in Hanking, where lessons include pre-military exercises using wooden weapons. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images, 1st April 1974)

In this humorous little piece, Nathalia imagines organizing a brigade of little girls in charge of watching their fathers and preventing their seduction by beautiful young women. Here Flatbush is a neighbourhood of Brooklyn in New York City. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Nathalia Crane, love and poetry at nine

Nathalia Crane (1924) – from The Janitor’s Boy, and Other Poems, via Wikimedia Commons

I will present here another girl poet who, like her contemporaries Hilda Conkling and Sabine Sicaud and the next generation’s Minou Drouet, started writing poetry at a very young age. But unlike Hilda Conkling and Minou Drouet, she did not give up poetry in her teenage years, and unlike Sabine Sicaud who died from a horrible disease at age 15, she lived for 85 years, writing poetry and novels, also working as a professor of English at San Diego State University. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…