Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lovecraftiana: Virgil Finlay (a poem) - part 1

To Mr. Finlay, upon His Drawing for Mr. Bloch's Tale, "The Faceless God" [1]

In dim abysses [2] pulse the shapes of night,
Hungry and [3] hideous, with strange mitres crown'd;
Black pinions beating in fantastic flight
From orb to orb thro' sunless voids [4] profound. [5]

None dares to name the cosmos whence they course,
Or guess the look on each amorphous face,
Or speak the words that with resistless force
Would draw them from the hells of outer space. [6]

Yet here upon a page our frighten'd glance
Finds monstrous forms no human eye should see;
Hints of those blasphemies whose countenance
Spreads death and [3] madness thro' infinity.

What limner he who braves black gulfs alone
And lives to make their alien horrors known?

1 Text taken from The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H P Lovecraft, Joshi, Night Shade Books, 2001, p.80
2 abyss is a favorite and recurring Lovecraft word
3 Lovecraft, as you can see, always use "+" or "&"
4 Joshi has "void" while the text has "voids".
5 I have added a break here that is not original. See 6
6 There is a natural gap between these stanzas, but there is also a natural flow that Joshi does not use, not Lovecraft. That is three stanzas of 4 (the verse is apparently pentameter) and a flourish of two lines to end with a question.


Anonymous said...

This is probably very stupid to notice, but...I've always seen such a difference in letter script among people of my grand parents and older generations that it surprises me when I see his handwriting. It doesn't look like it belongs to someone of his age, it's much too "modernly" messy. I don't see very much evidence of formal letter formation, but perhaps that is due to his spotty school attendance?

Chris Perridas said...

There is another thought. My handwriting went to hell in colege as i frantically scribbled notes. HPL wrote fast - he had lots to say - and small - he had no money so crimped the words as small as possible.

It is also stated that those who think faster than they can writer have garbled handwriting - doctors are notorious for that.

See lesewhere in the blog for crisp wonderful handwriting on a few of my 1900 era postcards I have in my collection.


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