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…


Aleister Crowley: Love and fear

Sulamith Wülfing – The Young Girl (1942) – from Pigtails in Paint

The poet sings his beloved and her sweet face. But fear hides the light of her love. Now the kiss is master of fear, so love is stronger than shame, and the climax comes unupbraided. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Nathalia Crane: The First Reformer

Janet Weight Reed – magical hummingbird – from (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…

Francis Thompson: Daisy

Hans Olaf Heyerdahl - Little girl on the beach - from Wikimedia Commons

Hans Olaf Heyerdahl – Little girl on the beach – from Wikimedia Commons

After being rescued from vagrancy, the poet Francis Thompson was brought by Wilfrid and Alice Meynell to Our Lady of England Priory in Storrington, West Sussex, where he stayed in order to recover from his opium addiction. In his “Biographical Note” introducing Selected Poems of Francis Thompson, Wilfrid Meynell wrote: CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…