Mass Poetry supports poets and poetry in Massachusetts. We help to broaden the audience of poetry readers, bring poetry to readers of all ages and transform people’s lives through inspiring verse. We are a 501(c)(3) organization.
Patty Crane is a poet and translator who takes full advantage of serendipity. Her new translation of the Nobel Prize-winning poet Tomas Tranströmer came about through a series of chance events, and those chance events led to a work that Craig Morgan Teicher of the New York Times describes this way: “To my ear, Crane has so far made the best English version of Tranströmer because of . . . small choices.” Those choices include using the word “steps” instead of the distancing term “tread” as seen in some translations, and “slips” instead of the more vague “puts.” Both small options, Teicher says, draw the reader into the emotional center of the poems.
When did you first encounter poetry? How did you discover that you wanted to write poems?
My first passionate connection with poetry came late – high school, Edna St. Vincent Millay, also the first love of many of my fellow- and sister-poets. In fact, Hannah Fries has a wonderful post in Mass Poetry’s “First Poem Series” about falling ‘head over heels’ for Millay. For a contest, I wrote a poem shamelessly imitating “Renascence” – and won. Not a poem I’d want to remember today, but the response got me hooked on writing, and grateful for what early teachers can give. Like Hannah’s teacher taking her out for ice cream, my own Miss Kauffman and the National Council of Teachers of English said, Keep going!
At Mass Poetry we do a lot on very little. In fact you may find it hard to believe what your contribution can mean to our work. But here’s an example: a monthly contribution of $10 over the entire year will pay for a workshop leader at a Student Day of Poetry. And check out the graphic below to see the power of those workshops!
Late afternoon lessons in his cellar, first the basics
rapped out on rubber pads, then rolls, drags, flams, paradiddles and ratamacues.
Moving on to a real kit and the flair of fills, underbelly routines
of the bass and flights between cymbals, crash and sizzle.