“After SARGASSO” by Phillip A. Ellis


Today, guest blogger Phillip A. Ellis talks about a few of his ideas regarding upcoming WHH projects. Give it a read and let him know what you think!

After Sargasso

Having received my contributor copy of Sargasso 1:1, I now find
that my thoughts are turning to what I will be writing next about the
poetry of William Hope Hodgson. I already have one item in an inchoate
stage, about The Voice of the Ocean, and I have fleeting ideas
for more.

I wanted to talk about two of my projected items, and to solicit your
feedback on them. I know that not many of us are interested in the poetry,
for whatever reasons. I won’t be discussing why this is, only noting it in
passing.

But… what would you say if there were a single, collected edition of the
poems of William Hope Hodgson? What I am thinking of is a single book,
with all of the extant poems, and with notes on where they have appeared,
and on features of note within them.

There isn’t much scope for notes about what has been written concerning
them: too little has; but I am interested in getting an affordable, easily
obtainable edition out there that can be used by readers and collectors.

After I have done that, what I want to do is as follows: using the texts
of the collected edition, I plan on compiling a concordance of the poetry.
That means that we would be able to study the language more carefully,
noting significant words and images, and where they appear.

So: what do you think and/or feel about both proposals? Do either or both
interest you? Would you use one or both of them? Feel free to leave your
comments below….

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4 Comments

Filed under William Hope Hodgson

4 responses to ““After SARGASSO” by Phillip A. Ellis

  1. Phil – a COLLECTED POEMS OF HODGSON is an intriguing idea. I wonder, though, whether there would be room in the current market for it, especially as Jane Frank’s volume of the LOST POETRY contains so many poems. A collected edition may only appeal to a handful of Hodgson cognoscenti. But publishers such as Hippocampus press have brought out volumes of such comparatively obscure fantastic poets as Nora May French and Robert H. Barlow, so there may be an argument for making such a volume available, especially it was annotated. I think myself that a Concordance to the poetry would be useful, but published as a standalone it would be of miniscule interest and difficult for a publisher to sell. What about including the Concordance within a Collected poems volume as a sort of additional resource? Although I suppose that making it available as an e-book would work standalone.
    BTW, I greatly enjoyed your essay in Sargasso 1 re: WHH’s poetry.

    • A simple reprint of the poetry would serve little purpose. The bulk of the poetry outside of Frank’s volume is not difficult to find. If such a book were to be produced, it certainly would have to include either annotations or a concordance.

  2. Tim Prasil

    Do you think you could turn a profit on a collection of WHH’s poetry? If that’s the goal, then ignore this.

    Is the goal more to call attention to the poetry and provide a single spot where scholars/fans can peruse? If so, what do you think of putting them on the Web, which would also allow for discussion of them? (If only there were a logical place to do this — ahem!)

    This might also be a good first step toward a book. If the Web project stirs significant interest, perhaps you’ll see that there’s a potential audience for WHH’s poetry.

    • Attempting to produce a volume of WHH’s poetry for profit is, in my estimation, a fool’s errand. There is simply not enough demand for it. I know that Phillip’s intention is more to spread knowledge, study and appreciation for the poetry rather than make money. As for putting the poetry online, that might be possible but likely beyond the scope of this blog.

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