Friday, January 6, 2012

Holiday Horror Stories

I got my tentacles on a copy of Eldritch Tales, a collection of H.P. Lovecraft's works. The edition is a black paperback with fake gold gilding and full page prints interspersed in the stories.

Epsilon curled up with me one day while I was reading this tome, and demanded to know what I was reading. So I began spinning a scary story about a print in the book. All week, he demanded that I "read" to him from the "big book." I finally buy him a scary book of his own.

The Spider and the Fly, is a book with lyrics written by Mary Howitt in 1829. The poem is a bit sexist, but it can be forgiven given the publication date. The illustrations, done by Tony DiTerlizzi are phenomenal for a children's horror picture book. It won a Caldecott Honor, and I'm only surprised that it didn't win the prize.

But back to the Eldritch Tales, Lovecraft is a master of language in his prose, but this volume had some of his poetry. It is clear why Lovecraft's poems are not recognized as literature. But they are perfectly pleasant to read.

V. Homecoming

excerpted from "Fungi from Yuggoth"

The daemon said that he would take me home
To the pale, shadowy land I half recalled
As a high place of stair and terrace, walled
With marble balustrades that sky-winds comb,
While miles below a maze of dome on dome
And tower on tower beside a sea lies sprawled.
Once more, he told me, I would stand enthralled
On those old heights, and hear the far-off foam.

All this he promised, and through sunset’s gate
He swept me, past the lapping lakes of flame,
And red-gold thrones of gods without a name
Who shriek in fear at some impending fate.
Then a black gulf with sea-sounds in the night:
“Here was your home,” he mocked, “when you had sight!”

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