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3.0 FANTASY POETRY (Introduction)

Copyright 1996,1997,1998 by Magic Dragon Multimedia.
All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without permission.
May be posted electronically provided that it is transmitted unaltered, in its entirety, and without charge.


Poetry was once the primary landscape of Fantasy, before the distinct modern genre of the Fantasy Novel began with William Morris (1834-1896), a prolific polymath and poet; and the modern Fantasy Short Story began with Washington Irving (1783-1859), Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), the supreme science fiction and fantasy poet who influenced the birth of Symbolist and Surrealist Poetry, via Rimbaud and Baudelaire. Monumental precursors to modern Fantasy Poetry include Homer, Virgil, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, Dante, Shakespeare, William Blake, Samuel Coleridge, E.T.A. Hoffman (1776-1822), John Milton, Edmund Spenser, and Sir Walter Scott. Fantasy Poetry, as we said in the introductory paragraphs, is an anti-modern or para-modern genre that turns away from natural philosophy (science) to exploit the realm of the supernatural and "the far away and the long ago" charted by the Romantics Keats and Coleridge, and/or the visionary symbolic prophetic poetry of Blake, Wordsworth, and Shelley. Fantasy Poetry draws from systematic myth, folklore (oral supernatural tradition not part of systematic myth), and the dream vision (descended from the 13th Century French Roman de la Rose, Dante's Divine Comedy, or Langland's Piers Plowman via Keats' The Fall of Hyperion or Lewis Carroll). Modern Fantasy Poetry also draws on Existentialism and the literature of the absurd. But Fantasy Poetry at its most inventive can transcend its sources to create an entirely new systematic mythos (as did William Blake, J. R. R. Tolkein, Charles Williams, Robert Howard, and H.P. Lovecraft); to create the psychological effects of folklore with inventions outside of tradition (Ray Bradbury) or at the intersection of traditions (urban folklore); and to re-explore the Dream in the light of Freud, Jung, or other modern neo-mythologist guides.

3.1 Fantasy Poetry Authors

96 Major Fantasy authors who wrote notable Fantasy Poetry include:
  1. Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907)
  2. Martin Donisthorpe Armstrong (1882-xxx)
  3. George A. Baker (1849-1906)
  4. John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922)
  5. Maurice Baring (1874-1945)
  6. Shirley Barker (1911-1965)
  7. Arlo Bates (1850-1918)
  8. William George Bebbington (xxx)
  9. Stephen Vincent Benét (1898-1943)
  10. Alfred Gordon Bennett (1901-xxx)
  11. Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925)
  12. Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)
  13. William Black (1841-1898) [Scotland]
  14. Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1990?) [Argentina]
  15. Ray Bradbury (b.1920)
  16. Richard Brautigan (1935-xxx)
  17. Joseph Payne Brennan (1918-xxx)
  18. Jacob Bronowski (1908-198x?) [Poland-England, 1 opera produced]
  19. Bernard Jocelyn Brooke (1908-xxx)
  20. Charles L. Dodgson/Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
  21. Lin Carter (1930-xxx)
  22. Theodore R. Cogswell (1918-xxx) [friend of Gordon Dickson & Poul Anderson, many ballads]
  23. John Collier (1901-xxx) [UK]
  24. Gilbert Collins (1890-xxx) [UK]
  25. Mary Elizabeth Couselman (1911-xxx)
  26. Madeleine Vinton Dahlgren (1825-1898)
  27. Gustaf Adolf de Castro Danziger (1859-1959) [LASFS]
  28. Avram Davidson (1923-1993)
  29. Walter John de la Mare (1873-1956) [UK]
  30. August Derleth (1909-1971)
  31. Leah Bodine Drake (1914-1964) [in 3 Derleth anthologies]
  32. Ronald Duncan (1914-xxx) [UK]
  33. Lord Dunsany (1879-1957) [Ireland]
  34. John Erskine (1879-1951)
  35. Theophile Gautier (1811-1872) [France]
  36. John Gawsworth (1912-xxx) [UK]
  37. Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836-1911) [UK, of Gilbert & Sullivan]
  38. Edward Gorey (verse + drawings)
  39. Robert Graves (1895-xxx) [UK, 3 vols. poetry by 1917]
  40. Thomas Edward Heath (18xx-19xx)[UK]
  41. Benson Herbert (1912-xxx) [UK]
  42. Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911)
  43. Charles Higham (b.1931) [England/Australia]
  44. Douglas Arthur Hill (b.1935)[Canada]
  45. James Hogg (1770-1835) [UK, protegé of Sir Walter Scott]
  46. Thomas Hood (1799-1845) [UK]
  47. Robert E. Howard (1906-1936)
  48. David H. Keller (1880-1966)
  49. Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
  50. R. A. Lafferty (b.1914)
  51. Jules Laforgue (1860-1887) [France]
  52. David Herbert (D.H.) Lawrence (1885-1930)
  53. Ursula K. Le Guin (b.1910)
  54. Fritz Leiber (1910-1992)
  55. C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)
  56. Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775-1818) [UK, House of Commons]
  57. Walt Liebscher (xxx)
  58. Frank Belknap Long (1903-1994)
  59. H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)
  60. Archibald MacLeish (xxx)
  61. Don Marquis (1878-1937) [archie & Mehetibel]
  62. Poet Laureate of England John Masefield (1878-1967)
  63. Richard Matheson (b.1926)
  64. Michael Moorcock (b.1939)
  65. H. Warner Munn (1903-1981)
  66. Sterling North (1906-xxx)
  67. Marvyn Lawrence Peake (1911-1968) [Gormenghast]
  68. John Cowper Powys (1872-1963) [UK]
  69. Edgar Hoffman Price (1898-xxx)
  70. John Pudney (1909-xxx) [UK]
  71. Sir Herbert Edward Read (1893-1968)
  72. Clara Reeve (1729-1807) [UK]
  73. Ernest Rhys (1859-1946) [UK]
  74. Laura Elizabeth Richards (1850-1943)
  75. Ann Barbara Ridler (1912-xxx) [UK]
  76. Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts (1860-1943) ["The Father of Canadian Literature"]
  77. Morgan Andrew Robertson (1861-1915)
  78. Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961) [arguably the greatest science fiction and fantasy poet as such of the 20th century]
  79. Garret Smith (xxx)
  80. Muriel Sarah Spark (b.1918) [Scotland]
  81. Christopher St.John Sprigg (1907-1937) [UK]
  82. Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) [Scotland; children's verse as well]
  83. Arthur John Arbuthnot Stringer (1874-1956) [Canada]
  84. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) [Irish]
  85. Ruthven Todd (1914-xxx) [UK, moved to US in 1948]
  86. J. R. R. Tolkein (1892-1973) [UK]
  87. Amos Tutuola (b.1920) [Nigeria]
  88. Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)
  89. Edward Sims Van Zile (1863-1931)
  90. George Sylvester Viereck (1884-1962)
  91. Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-xxx) [UK]
  92. Charles Erskine Scott Wood (1852-1944)
  93. Dolf Wyllarde (18xx-1950) [UK]
  94. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (xxx)
  95. Jane Yolen (b.1939)
  96. Roger Zelazny (b.1937)
21 other significant Fantasy Poets include:
  1. Joe Christopher
  2. H. J. Cording
  3. Yael Dragwyla (an lineal descendant of Vlad Tepes/Dracula)
  4. Denise Dumars
  5. Stephen Eng
  6. Jody Forest
  7. John Francis Haines
  8. Ron Maggiano
  9. Frederick J. Mayer
  10. Ardath Mayhar
  11. David Memmott
  12. A. R. Morlan
  13. Jessica Amanda Salmonson
  14. : Jessica Amanda Salmonson (1950-): author, editor, expert on Horror (especially 19th Century), anthologist of "Amazons!" (1st women warrior anthology), and fan of "chop-socki" Hong Kong and Japanese films; a former neighbor of your humble webmaster in Seattle, with many informal tea ceremonies... For listings of her Novels, Story Collections, Anthologies, and Nonfiction, see Authors: S: Fred Saberhagen-Leo Szilard see listing of Collections, below;
  15. Ann K. Schwader
  16. Darryl Schweitzer
  17. Nancy Springer
  18. David M. Skov (D.M. Vosk)
  19. Neil Wilgus
  20. Thomas Wiloch
  21. Billy Wolfenbarger
  22. Paul Edwin Zimmer

3.2 Fantasy Poetry Collections and Anthologies

The first and most influential anthology in the early phases of the field was Tales of Wonder, edited by Matthew Gregory "Monk" Lewis (1775-1818), 2 volumes, London: J.Bell, 1801. As detailed in: Steve Eng, "Ghost Riders from Germany: An Early Phase of Fantasy Poetry", Portland Review, Science Fiction Poetry Issue, Vol.27, No.2, pp.47-48; this went into at least eight other editions. "Monk", later elected to Parliament, achieved his greatest fame with the world-famous Gothic novel The Monk (1796). Tales of Wonder was preceded by several popular ballads, especially "Lenore" in 1773 by Gottfried August Burger (1747-1794), an underground sensation that burst into six translations in 1796, one by young Walter Scott. Scott nudged "Monk" Lewis into action by printing his own collection of ballads (most of them fantastical) in 1799, and after Monk's anthology was published in 1800, Scott published his important Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802). Anthologies of fantasy poetry have flourished ever since. 47 outstanding single-author collections include:
  1. Dreamers and other Poems, Edward Sims Van Zile, 1897
  2. A Man from Genoa and Other Poems, Frank Belknap Long, 1926
  3. The Goblin Tower, Frank Belknap Long, 1928
  4. In Mayan Splendor, Frank Belknap Long, Arkham, 1977
  5. Stuff and Nonsense, Walter de la Mare, 1927 [an epic Fantasy Poem]
  6. Poems 1930-32, John Gawsworth
  7. A Distant Star, Charles Higham, 1951
  8. Spring and Death, Charles Higham, 1954
  9. The Earthbound and other Poems, Charles Higham, 1959
  10. The Female Demon, William McDougle, New York: Shroud, 1955
  11. The Christmas that Almost Wasn't, Boston: Little Brown, 1957, Ogden Nash (1902-1971)
  12. Footsteps in the Attic, Stanley McNail, 195x
  13. Something Breathing, Stanley McNail, Arkham, 1965
  14. As Dream and Shadow, Emil Petaja, illus. Hannes Bok, San Francisco: Sisu, 1972
  15. When Pussywillows Last in the Catyard Bloomed, Roger Zelazny, Vermont Australia: Waratah Press, 1980
  16. To Spin is Miracle Cat, Roger Zelazny, xxx
  17. Demons and Dinosaurs, L. Sprague de Camp, intro. Lin Carter, Arkham, 1970
  18. Phantoms and Fancies, L. Sprague de Camp, illus. Tim Kirk, Baltimore: Mirage Press, 1972
  19. Heroes and Hobgoblins, L. Sprague de Camp, illus. Tim Kirk, West Kingston RI: Donald M. Grant, 1981
  20. Dreams from R'lyeh, Lin Carter, Arkham, 1977
  21. The Nightmare Collector, Bruce Boston, Rockford IL: 2 AM Publications, 1988
  22. Faces of the Beast, Bruce Boston, Mercer Island WA: Starmont House, 1990
  23. Accursed Wives, Bruce Boston, Troy NC: Night Visions, 1993
  24. House on Fire, David Memmott, La Grande OR: Jazz Police Books, 1992
  25. The Cosmic Cycle, Uncle River, Silver City VA: Mother Bird Books, 1992
  26. The Ghost Garden , Jessica Amanda Salmonson [Dark Dreams, Dec 1988]
  27. Sorceries and Sorrows: Early Poems, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, (Polk City IA: Chris Drumm Books, 1992) 100 copies. Back-to-back with BIBLIOGRAPHY (of published works up to 1992)
  28. THE BLACK CRUSADER AND OTHER POEMS OF HORROR, Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Springfield, Missouri: W. D. Firestone Press,1979)
  29. MOONSTILL TULIP WINE AND OTHERS, Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Seattle: Duck's-Foot Tree, 1979) A giftbook for WisCon, 1979, includes also a poem and a poem-in-prose by Diane Policelli
  30. ON THE SHORES OF ETERNITY, Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Seattle: Duck's-Foot Tree, 1981) illustrated by Wendy Wees (Incorporates the six poems from CHEAP PRESENT, 1980)
  31. FEIGNED DEATH AND OTHER SORCERIES, Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Seattle: Duck's-Foot Tree, Seattle, 1983)
  32. INNOCENT OF EVIL: POEMS IN PROSE, Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Madison: Wisconsin, Dream House/Strange Company, 1984). Published during poet's stint as Guest of Honor at WisCon
  33. THE PATIENT CHILD, Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Seattle: Duck's-Foot Tree, 1985), 100 copies issued for NorWesCon, Seattle, 1985. Single poem in imitation of Sir Walter Scott
  34. FANTASIES IN BLACK AND WHITE, Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Seattle: Duck's-Foot Tree, l987) three poems-in-prose for illustrations by Donald Corley, issued together with "Fantasies in Amber" two poems in prose by Jules Faye, 100 pairs issued for the World Fantasy Convention in Nashville, 1987
  35. THE GHOST GARDEN, Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Liverpool: Dark Dreams Press, 1988) illustrated by Jules Remedios Faye and Dallas Goffin, introduction by Marvin Kaye
  36. THE GODDESS UNDER SIEGE, Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Seattle: Street of Crocodiles, 1992), letterpress, handbound edition of 200 copies designed by Jules Remedios Faye
  37. SONGS OF THE MAENADS, Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Seattle: Duck's-foot Tree & the Street of Crocodiles, 1992). 100 copies, twenty-six of these handbound hardcover
  38. MISTER MONKEY And Other Sumerian Fables , Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Seattle: Tabula Rasa, 1995) 200 copy limited edition leatherbound miniature book
  39. THE HORN OF TARA: Holiday Hymns for the Universal Mother, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, "a pleasingly heretical giftbook for some of my sweet chums" (Seattle: Duck's-foot Tree, 1995. Limited to 75 copies. Introduction
  40. LAKE OF THE DEVIL: Poems of Morosity and Jest, Jessica Amanda Salmonson. Seattle: Duck's-foot Tree, 1995. Limited to 75 copies
  41. Laughing Kelly and Other Verses, R. A. Lafferty, Polk City IA: Chris Drumm Books, 1984 (?)
  42. Alchemical Texts, Bruce Boston, Mountain View CA: Ocean View Press, 1985 (?)
  43. Fritz Leiber, Demons of the Upper Air, xxxxxxxxx, Sonnets for Jonquil, xxxxxxxxx
  44. Ursula K. LeGuin, Wild Angels, xxxxxxxxx, Hard Words
  45. A Midsummer Tempest, Poul Anderson, xxxx, 19xx, mostly blank verse (a James Branch Cabell trick)
  46. The Unicorn Trade, Poul & Karen Anderson, New York: Baen, 1984
  47. Staves, Poul Anderson, Minneapolis MN: Jwindz, 1993

3.3 Fantasy Poetry Magazines

Fantasy Poetry was often in magazines such as:
  1. American Fantasy
  2. Blood Review
  3. Coven 13
  4. Crypt of Cthulhu
  5. Dead of Night
  6. Deathrealm
  7. Dreams & Nightmares
  8. Eldritch Tales
  9. Essence (ed. J. P. Brennan)
  10. Fantastic
  11. Fantasy Book
  12. Fantasy & Terror
  13. Forgotten Fantasy (19th Century reprints)
  14. Haunts
  15. Hawk & Whippoorwill (ed. A.Derleth)
  16. Macabre (ed. J .P. Brennan)
  17. Magazine of Horror
  18. Nightcry
  19. Night Voyages
  20. Nightmare Express
  21. Owlflight
  22. Shadows Of
  23. Startling Mystery Stories
  24. Weirdbook
  25. Weird Tales
  26. Witchcraft & Sorcery

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Copyright 1996, 1997 by Magic Dragon Multimedia.
All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without permission.
May be posted electronically provided that it is transmitted unaltered, in its entirety, and without charge.