Fantastic Poems

Last night, I did something I shouldn’t have.

I should have gone to sleep. But I couldn’t sleep, and instead of trying to, I created a new website. Here it is: Poems of the Fantastic and Macabre.

A long time ago, I created a website by that name. It’s still online, but it’s been years since I’ve paid attention to it or updated it. (Although it still gets hits.)Β  Back then, I was created websites by writing the HTML myself, and it just became too difficult to keep up with. But last night I thought, why not create a WordPress site and transfer the material I have on the old site to the new one? And that was what I did.

Not all the material. There are poems I’m not including in this version, because they don’t seem interesting enough, or fantastical or macabre enough. Even some of the ones I’m including, I’m not sure about. Is Edgar Allan Poe’s “To Helen” really all that fantastical? Although she was a goddess, or at least the daughter of a god, and that’s pretty fantastical, right?

There isn’t all that much up on the site yet, but I’ll build it slowly. It will be easy, now that I don’t need to do the coding. And I hope it will be a resource for people. You see, the reason I created the site in the first place was that I was looking for fantastical poetry for a class I was teaching on fantasy, and I couldn’t find one place what had a good selection. So hopefully this will be a site where I can gather quite a lot of fantastical poetry, for those who want to teach it or just enjoy reading it.

It will have limitations: I can’t include poetry published after 1922, for copyright reasons. And it will only include poetry in English, since I don’t have the expertise to include poems in other languages. But there’s an awful lot of poetry I can include. And one of the joys of this sort of site is that I’ll get to include poets most people haven’t heard of, such as Dora Sigerson Shorter. Just to show you what I mean, I’ll give you one of her poems here:

The Watcher in the Wood

Deep in the wood’s recesses cool
I see the fairy dancers glide,
In cloth of gold, in gown of green,
My lord and lady side by side.

But who has hung from leaf to leaf,
From flower to flower, a silken twine –
A cloud of grey that holds the dew
In globes of clear enchanted wine?

Or stretches far from branch to branch,
From thorn to thorn, in diamond rain,
Who caught the cup of crystal pure
And hung so fair the shining chain?

‘Tis death, the spider, in his net,
Who lures the dancers as they glide,
In cloth of gold, in gown of green,
My lord and lady side by side.

Isn’t that beautiful and creepy? Exactly the sort of thing I want to include in Poems of the Fantastic and Macabre.Β  And because I just included it here, I can copy it over to the other site and create a Dora Sigerson Shorter page, like this.

And I have to say, I really like the way I decorated. You know, the wallpaper, and the painting I put up. That sort of thing. So go over and visit my new site. There will be more furniture by and by.

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5 Responses to Fantastic Poems

  1. Sofia Samatar says:

    Fantastic site! Have you considered Hardy’s “When I Set Out for Lyonesse”?

    “Goblin Fruit” is always yummy too…

    I’d never heard of D. S. Shorter. Thanks for that!

  2. Robert Thau says:

    “The Lady of Shalott”, by Tennyson, would go well with the Waterhouse paintings. (The poem is the subject of at least three Waterhouse paintings, including one of his most famous, which was the centerpiece of the Waterhouse retrospective that was in Montreal last year…)

  3. I love Hardy, Rossetti, and Tennyson, so they will all eventually go on the site! πŸ™‚

    Sofia, I’m hoping to include a bunch of poets, particularly women poets, that people generally haven’t heard of. I’ll probably blog about them when I do.

  4. Sovay says:

    Here it is: Poems of the Fantastic and Macabre.

    That is very cool.

  5. Glad you like it! πŸ™‚

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