Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Five Fantasy/Dark Fantasy That Even Poetry Haters Will Like

Inspired by a post at SFFaudio this post is a listing of five good, classic Fantasy/Dark Fantasy poems that are worth reading, even if you dislike poetry. Give 'em a chance.  All are linked to online text versions by their titles.  Some audio versions are linked at the end of this post.

"Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti (1862).  A poem of temptation, forbidden fruit, love, redemption, and not incidentally goblins. A favorite of undergraduate English majors for the many layers of implicit forbidden sexuality. 

"Morning and evening / Maids heard the goblins cry: / 'Come buy our orchard fruits, / Come buy, come buy:"

"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1798)  Coleridge's dark poem of a sailor cursed by his thoughtless act of animal cruelty has walking corpses, supernatural forces gambling over the soul of the mariner, an often misquoted line, A PETA approved message, and plenty of creepiness.  A very macabre poem.

"The pang, the curse, with which they died, / Had never passed away: / I could not draw my eyes from theirs, / Nor turn them up to pray."

"The Lady Of Shalott" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1833). An Arthurian tale of a cursed maiden and her encounter with Lancelot.  More subtle and less lush than "Goblin Market," this fantasy poem still haunt's the reader and implies much more than it shows.
"But Lancelot mused a little space / He said, "She has a lovely face; / God in his mercy lend her grace, / The Lady of Shalott."

"The Conqueror Worm" by  Edgar Allan Poe (1843). A pleasantly morbid little morality tale.  The story of mankind and the inevitability of death, all wrapped up in supernatural trappings by the master of macabre.  I've loved this one since I heard Vincent Price read it on the Tonight Show many years ago.

 "While the angels, all pallid and wan, / Uprising, unveiling, affirm /
That the play is the tragedy, “Man,” / And its hero, the Conqueror Worm. "

"La Belle Dame sans Merci" by John Keats. (1819). A knight meets a fay maiden.  Has this scenario ever ended well for the knight?

 "She took me to her Elfin grot, / And there she wept and sighed full sore, / And there I shut her wild wild eyes / With kisses four."

Audio at LibriVov:

No comments: