Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Lovecaftian Thing a Day (2018) No.193: Dreams of Fear - Poetry of Terror and the Supernatural

I consider Lovecraft’s Fungi from Yuggoth sonnet cycle to be one of the great works of weird fiction, and my admiration for it has subsequently engendered a desire to delve more deeply into the strange and solemn waters of what is, perhaps, one of the least appreciated and popular modes of literary expression: weird and supernatural poetry. As a result, over the past few years I’ve been collecting as much weird and Lovecraftian poetry as I can l lay my hands on - most of which sits on my shelves unread and gathering dust.

In order to set to rights this unruly state of affairs, I have decided to undertake a systematic reading of the field of weird poetry over the Summer and running up to the Hallowe’en period. To this end, I have found Dreams of Fear: Poetry of Terror and the Supernatural, edited by Joshi and Mariconda, to be a useful (although at times rather dry) primer, offering a selection of weird poetry spanning the history of Western literary traditions.

I’m currently about halfway through this, and I must admit my preference tends towards the contemporary end of the spectrum; even so, Dreams of Fear is a stolid trail guide to some of the more remote, unfamiliar and less-explored territories of the literary weird.

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