“Ballade”: a poem


Keeping with our celebration of National Poetry Month, we present another of WHH’s poems.

This striking poem was not published until the November, 1977, issue of Fantasy Crossroads, where it appeared until the alternative title, “Who Make Their Bed in Deep Waters”.  It was included in the edition of The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson (2005) which was edited by Jane Frank.  It is a haunting poem which echoes Poe.

Ballade

 Who Make Their Bed In The Deep Waters

 

            We are dying,

               And the sea is very still,

           And some of the children are crying,

            And some are ill,

                     And seven are dead

                       And their mothers make their bed.
8

            We are dying,

                 Two boats just full of us,

            And the little ones are lying

              Quietly–thus and thus,

                       And twelve are dead

                       And their mothers made their bed.

8

            We are dying,

                 Another day has gone,

        And no child is crying,

                 In the gloaming wan

                       They all are dead

                       And their mothers made their bed.

8

            We are dying,

             It is just before the dawn,

            The mothers all are lying

                 Silent e’er the morn

                       Forlornly dead

                       And I made their bed.

 8

We are dying,

                 The evening’s sun is low,

            And my lover-lad is crying

                 Weak in utter woe

                       O’er me dead

                   E’er he make my bed.

 8

We are dying,

                 My lover thought me gone,

            In his two arms lying,

                 But I saw him wan

                   Nearly dead

                       And his arms my bed.

 8

We are silent now,

                 For I reached and drew

                       My lover to me, dying,

        And the glad young brow

                       Sailed against me lying

                 E’er he knew

                             Quietly dead

                             On my bosom for his bed.

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Some Odds and Ends


I regularly stroll through the internet and look for items of Hodgsonian interest.  Occasionally, I find a few things.  Here’s a couple I found today.

 

3345640-01The ComicVine website records a previously unknown to me appearance by Hodgson in a comic called CTHULHU #1 which was released in 2010.  I do not have a copy of this comic but the listing states that the story, “The Cursed Island” is by WHH.  This may be an adaptation of “Voice in the Night” but, if anyone could supply more information, it would be appreciated.

You can read the listing here: http://www.comicvine.com/cthulhu-1-vol-1/4000-427796/

Back on June 30, 2010, the UK newspaper The Guardian published a nice little article about Carnacki.  Showing once again that WHH’s occult detective continues to hold reader’s attentions.  The article is quite good but I’m sure that Tim Prasil would debate the often reiterated claim that LeFanu’s Dr. Martin Hesselius was the first occult detective!  You can read the article here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2010/jun/30/thomas-carnacki-supernatural-detective

S.T. Joshi informs me that the Hodgson volume of the Centipede Press Library of Weird Fiction should be available soon.  This will be a 900 page collection of Hodgson’s works and is a bargain at the publication price of $60.  Other volumes will include Lovecraft and Blackwood as well.

 

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R.I.P. Andy Robertson


It is with deep regret that I relate the news that Andy Robertson has passed away after suffering a heart attack and a stroke.

Andy was the man behind the NIGHT LAND website (http://www.thenightland.co.uk/nightmap.html) which has been a constant source of information and promotion regarding Hodgson and this seminal work.  His friend and executor, Brett Davidson, had this to say:

“I have just this morning received news that Andy Robertson, my editor and publisher, my friend and mentor has died as the result of a heart attack and stroke.

 I have said what Andy was, but he was more than that too.  He was a man who had known tragedy, losing his own wife at a young age, leaving behind two very talented daughters, developing Parkinson’s, and on his second marriage, had a son only to almost lose him at the age of three to leukaemia.  Despite all of this he retained his ebullient spirit, never denying reality, but struggling on and always helping the people around him.

 Andy was of course a good friend to me and one of my greatest teachers too.  He helped make me what I am, but I am not alone – there are many people left who can claim that of him.

He will leave a legacy – us.”

Andy has been a friend and supporter of this blog since it began.  We have lost not only a good friend but also a strong force in the preservation and promotion of Hodgson’s legacy.  Let us make a promise to continue his work in his memory.

 

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“Shoon of the Dead”–A poem


In celebration of National Poetry Month, here’s another of Hodgson’s poems.

SHOON OF THE DEAD

Hush! as you pass.

    And hark!

Three taps on the glass

In the gloaming

From someone out in the dark–

Roaming.

*

Hush! and hark

To a step you hear pass:

Someone is out in the dark.

Hark to the death-wind go wailing,

And the tap of a ghost on the glass.

Hush! and hark! Hush! and hark!

*

Open the door,

And listen!

Only the wind’s muffled roar,

And the glisten

Of tears round the moon.

And, in fancy, the tread

Of vanishing shoon–

Out in the night with the Dead.

*

Hush! and hark

To the sorrowful cry

Of the wind in the dark.

Hush! and hark, without murmur or sigh,

To shoon that tread the lost aeons;

To the sound that bids you to die.

Hush! and hark! Hush! and hark!

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A Review of CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]S.T. Joshi has kindly sent me a copy of his review of CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES which will be appearing in an upcoming issue of DEAD RECKONINGS from Hippocampus Press.  It is a very favorable review and S.T. says many nice things about the various contributions in the book.  Coming from S.T. Joshi, it is great praise indeed!

Here is a brief excerpt from the review:

Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder (1913) is far from being William Hope Hodgson’s best book, but it has emerged as one of his most popular. Perhaps this is not surprising. Although the short novel The House on the Borderland (1908) is perhaps Hodgson’s signature work, with its unforgettable central section depicting the narrator’s drifting through spectacular cosmic vistas of space and time, Carnacki has the appeal of a charismatic recurring character and exemplifies the provocative fusion of two seemingly disparate genres—the supernatural tale and the detective story. It may be true that Hodgson deliberately catered to popular taste in his creation of the occult detective Thomas Carnacki—he published the first Carnacki tales in the Idler in 1910, only two years after Algernon Blackwood’s John Silence—Physician Extraordinary reached the bestseller lists—and it may also be true that some of Carnacki’s bag of occult contrivances (such as the Electric Pentacle and the Saaamaaa Ritual) are almost self-parodically comical; but it is equally true that no one, to my knowledge, has written John Silence pastiches, whereas the book under review is only the latest contribution to a growing body of new Thomas Carnacki adventures.

I will advise when the review is published.  By that time, the 2nd edition of the book will be available so this seems as good a time as any to remind everyone that the 1st edition will be removed from Amazon tomorrow (4/15/14) so if you haven’t gotten a copy and want one of the soon to be scarce first edition, you have about 24 hours to order one!

 

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New Article Available!


N3_cover_fixed_2013__19242.1392149950.120.120I’m happy to announce that my article, “The Man Who Saved Hodgson!”, has just been published in the latest issue of NAMELESS!

This article is an expanded version of the blog entry about H. C. Koenig and includes new information about Koenig that was furnished to me by his son-in-law, Gene Biancheri.  So this provides a much fuller view of the man whom I believe is primarily responsible for any of us even knowing about Hodgson today!

The third issue of NAMELESS is available here:

http://www.jasunnistore.com/nameless-digest-issue-3/

NAMELESS is a very good and entertaining magazine with a fine blend of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  It’s a publication that EVERYONE who is interested in weird fiction and literature should be reading.

 

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“The Pirates”–a poem


This week, for National Poetry Month, I present Hodgson’s poem, “The Pirates”.

Unlike most of Hodgson’s poetry, it was published during his lifetime.  It first appeared as part of his collection, THE LUCK OF THE STRONG (Eveleigh Nash, 1916), and later in the posthumous collection, THE CALLING OF THE SEA (Selwyn & Blount, 1920).   This poem shows Hodgson’s ability at conjuring images from words and rings with the air of a traditional sea chanty.

THE PIRATES

 

The roll of the ships

And the thud of bare feet on the deck!

See the flames tower

Over to larboard

Over to starboard

Where the tall ships are sinking

And the black water is winking

As it thinks

As it blinks

At the roar of our jinks,

Aoi! foot it, my lads!

Aoi! foot it!

Aoi! foot it!

The whole deck of her,

Make her bounce,

Hark to her timbers a-creak,

Lord, what a time!

Drink to the joy of our life.

Never a crime!

Only a rhyme

On the lip of the sea.

Hic! Hark unto me

A-poeting

A-goating

Along with the rest of you.

Dance, damn you, dance!

Aoi! see the blue night

Rolling as mad as us!

Cuss, devils, cuss!

Lord! what a jolly mad fight!

What blood

And what doings!

What cud

And what ruings

For odd times in future,

What a night!

Aoi! what a night for a prance,

With the wood battle-fires on our decks

And the flames of our wrecks,

Dance, of, you lubbers!

You cockfighters!

You grubbers for gold!

Aoi! dance until the wash of the ocean

Boats back from our sides,

Dance until she rolls,

Death’s blasted black pendulum,

Between the two poles.

Aoi! we’re bad and we’re bold!

Dieu! what a grand notion!

Aoi! feel the glad motion

And the thud of your hoofs, old jellies

Around and about on the decks,

Make her drum

Like the fists of old Satan

On the walls of far heaven.

Bumble-drum!

Drumble-bum!

Let her go! Let her go!

Dance! All the gods damn you!

Dance! Drink and dance!

Prance, you sons of Satan, prance!

Make the rounded decks to drum!

(Hear me!)

Till she rolls the scuppers under,

Bumble-drum!

Make her hum!

Gods of Thunder, yelp and wonder!

See us make her bounce and wander . . .

Make her heave and roll.

Send the wash across the whole black ocean

Till God rocks upon His throne!

(Aoi! The notion!)

Dance each marrow bone . . . Thud! Thud!

Thud! Thud!

So we pass on, dancing, dancing,

Aoi! Hand the bucket . . . damn the glass!

Aoi! we’re right and tight!

So we pass,

Lords of Darkness in the Everlasting Night.

 

 

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2nd Edition CARNACKI


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]After getting some much needed feedback, I’ve decided to go to a second edition for CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES.  There’s been a few people who have pointed out textual problems and concerns over the interior design so we’re going to reformat the book and re-release it next month.

The cover and contents will remain the same but the text and design will be different.  I feel it is my obligation to provide the best book possible for the contributors and the readers.

So, on April 15th, I will remove the book from Amazon’s currently available list.  The 2nd edition will be available in May and I’ll alert everyone when it can be ordered.  Which means that you only have until the 15th if you want a first edition of this book.  After that day, the only way you’ll be able to get a first edition will be from book dealers.

Here is the current link for the first edition:

http://www.amazon.com/Carnacki-The-Adventures-Sam-Gafford/dp/0615943004/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397069980&sr=8-1&keywords=carnacki+the+new+adventures

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A Review and Other Items


The first issue of SARGASSO received a very strong review here:

http://18thwall.com/2013/09/11/a-spot-on-the-bookshelf-sargasso-the-journal-of-william-hope-hodgson-studies/

Sadly, the book is now completely out of print but I am happy that it has been received so well.  A Kindle edition is still available at:

http://www.amazon.com/Sargasso-Sam-Gafford-ebook/dp/B00G7WH5JE/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1396896075&sr=1-2&keywords=sargasso

I have no plans to reprint this issue so the Kindle is the only currently available edition.

Speaking of SARGASSO, I am still in need of material for the second issue!  I am looking for articles, essays, short fiction, art, poetry about or influenced by Hodgson.  I’m especially looking for fiction and art for this issue.  If you’d like to contribute, please contact me at lordshazam@yahoo.com with “Sargasso” in the subject line.  Deadline is May 15th for this issue.

And here are a couple of other interesting items I’ve found around the web.

“Science of The Night Land: Dying Suns and Earth Energy” by Roger Lamb is an interesting look at some of the science behind that unique novel.  Although Hodgson was not a scientist himself, it’s curious to see how this connects.  You can read the brief article at:

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/11/science-of-the-night-land-dying-suns-and-earth-energy

Another curious article is “Fungi and Swine: William Hope Hodgson’s Disgust Morality” which discusses the abundance of pigs in WHH’s fiction and what they might mean.  The article reminds me of the old adage from Winston Churchill; “Cats look down on us, Dogs look up to us and Pigs look down upon us as equals”.  This article is online here:

http://rolesrules.blogspot.com/2012/11/fungi-and-swine-william-hope-hodgsons.html

I apologize if I’ve posted these before but they are interesting enough to be worth another look!

 

 


 

 

 

 

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A WHH Podcast


I stumbled across this some time ago but am not sure if I remembered to pass it on or not.

Now available on iTunes is a “William Hope Hodgson podcast”.  It consists of readings of “The Voice in the Night”, “Captain Dan Danblasten” and the entirety of THE BOATS OF THE ‘GLEN CARRIG’.  They are iTunes files so you do need an iTunes account to hear them but they are free.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tales-from-potts-house-william/id152078422?mt=2

This podcast was done by Paul R. Potts who also wrote the very excellent Wikipedia entry on WHH which you can find here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Hope_Hodgson

That page also includes many links to Hodgson’s works that are available to read free online.

The podcast hasn’t been updated for some time and Mr. Potts has no current plans to do more Hodgson but perhaps we can change his mind!

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