I mentioned to Wayne June that I’d found the above poem in the July 1937 issue of Weird Tales. He hadn’t heard of it before. Then he went and narrated it for us!
Written in a letter, dated November 30, 1937, it was sent from H.P. Lovecraft to Virgil Finlay. It was inspired by art drawn for a Robert Bloch story, published in the May 1936 issue of Weird Tales, and entitled The Faceless God. Here’s the illustration that inspired it:
Here’s at least part of the letter:
“I could easily scrawl a sonnet to one of your masterpieces if you weren’t too particular about quality. For example –
To Virgil Finlay Upon his Drawing Of Robert Bloch’s Tale “The Faceless God”
By H.P. LOVECRAFT
In dim abysses pulse the shapes of night,
Hungry and hideous, with strange miters crowned;
Black pinions beating in fantastic flight
From orb to orb through soulless voids profound.
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 halls of outer space.
Yet here upon a page our frightened glance
Finds monstrous forms no human eye should see;
Hints of those blasphemies whose countenance
Spreads death and madness through infinity.
What limnner he who braves black gulfs alone
And lives to wake their alien horrors known?
Well well – quite in the Yuggoth tradition! I’ll have to keep a copy of this to try on one or another of the fan magazines!”
Posted by Jesse Willis