Pursuit by H.P. Lovecraft

SFFaudio Online Audio

Today, when I read Eric S. Rabkin H.P. Lovecraft’s Alethia Phrikodes we both agreed it was great and full of Edgar Allan Poe. Then, I mentioned that one of the differences between Poe and Lovecraft’s poetry was the love a woman (Anabelle Lee and The Raven for example). Lovecraft’s poems, I said, unlike most of Poe’s most famous poems, significantly lack women. But Eric pointed out that the loved one is in Lovecraft, but it isn’t a woman – it is the book. And to make his point he read me this sonnet, from the Fungi From Yuggoth sequence:

Pursuit by H.P. Lovecraft

I held the book beneath my coat, at pains
To hide the thing from sight in such a place;
Hurrying through the ancient harbour lanes
With often-turning head and nervous pace.
Dull, furtive windows in old tottering brick
Peered at me oddly as I hastened by,
And thinking what they sheltered, I grew sick
For a redeeming glimpse of clear blue sky.

No one had seen me take the thing-but still
A blank laugh echoes in my whirling head,
And I could guess what nighted worlds of ill
Lurked in that volume I had coveted.
The way grew strange – the walls alike and madding –
And far behind me, unseen feet were padding.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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