Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What Rhymes With Eldritch?

Lovecraft is indeed excellent for expanding one's vocabulary, though not, I can only surmise, particularly good for helping one to make up one's mind - James P. Wall.

I don't know about Lovecraft. I read a few books of his when I was in Uni, and I never quite got it. Full of histrionic characters discovering things of dread import before turning into shrieking lunatics. Nice words, though: 'palanquin', 'eldritch', 'eidolon', 'calamander', 'Pnakotic' ...

On the other hand, after reading a few books by Lovecraft, I was able to write the following pisstake. So there you have it. It was Lovecraft, the bastard, who first got me writing poetry. He is to blame ...!

I lingered down the lonely lane
And came along an ancient fane
Regarded by a fearsome bane -
A sleeping salamander.
Yea - 'twas a Doric shack, essayed
In onyx, ivory and jade:
Of alabastar was it made -
And tipped in calamander.

And down the dank and dusky ways
The deserted paths, the shadow maze -
There crept the silent bloody rays
Of the setting sun!
Then - out of that evening red,
Arose a shape of fear - of dread -
It was not real - nor live - nor dead:
An eldritch eidolon!

And while I gaped, it spoke in moans
Like rusty buckets filled with bones
And in these most malicious tones
It told it's tale to me!
My heart was gripped with morbid fear
As this ancient, undead beast drew near:
I saw its withered hands so sere -
And yet - I could not flee!

It spoke of demon hordes and dragon herds,
Of Gugs and Leng and Shantak birds,
Of 'Yog Soggoth' in awesome words
Three syllables or four;
Then told of hieroglyphic scripts,
Found in cyclopaean crypts
And Pnakotic manuscripts:
In words - six syllables or more!

I could not help! I could not stay!
And so I chose to swoon away -
Till I awoke the following day -
To greet the roseate dawn:
And now, like to an awful bore,
I roam the world with my new lore -
And tell my tale to all, before,
I die - and I am gone!

(I wrote this at uni and subsequently lost most of it; so I've had to recreate it from memory)


JPW said...

You know, I hate poetry as much as anybody has a right to, but that's actually really, really, really fucking good. I recommend you submit it to McSweeny's forthwith!

TimT said...

But wouldn't it have to be a sestina?

JPW said...

They don't even know what that is!

TimT said...

I bloody well hope they do!

JPW said...

Pfah! Mere trifling details!

LindyK said...

For McSweeney's, it would have to be a sestina, yes, but it's still a bloody great poem. Apparently your memory is quite good...

TimT said...

I'm glad y'all liked it, because I seem to recall I was much happier with the original. I never finished it, and the ghost in the original was more clearly a parody of Lovecraft.

I tend to remember poems better than other things - especially ones that I write - because when banging them into shape, I repeat the details over obsessively.

Rachy said...

you need to add a verse or whatever it's called with a reference to bitch

It would just be the right thing to do

TimT said...

Yeah, it's still not completely finished. Got to keep working on it. But I'm putting up quite a bit of poetry stuff up here lately, might be time for another drunken poetry reading soon ...

Rachy said...

might be time for another drunken poetry reading soon


TimT said...

I'm seriously thinking of getting an accordion or keyboard or something portable, because that poem written to irritate folksingers really doesn't work without music. I've put up one or two others on this site that need some music accompaniment, either.

Alas, I can't think of anybody offhand with an accordion to lend ...

Email: timhtrain - at -

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