Nobody Home in the Shantih

Henry Fielding wrote Tom Jones.
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
Good night, good night, the stars are bright
I saw the Leonard-Tendler fight
Farewell, farewell, O go to hell.
Nobody home
In the shantih.


DESCRIPTION: In his poem “Waste Paper,” Lovecraft parodies T. S. Eliot’s famous poem, The Waste Land.

CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “Waste Paper.” The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, 2013, pp. 257-61.

Elder Splendours and Divine Desires

The winter sunset, flaming beyond spires
And chimneys half-detached from this dull sphere,
Opens great gates to some forgotten year
Of elder splendours and divine desires.
Expectant wonders burn in those rich fires,
Adventure-fraught, and not untinged with fear;
A row of sphinxes where the way leads clear
Toward walls and turrets quivering to far lyres.

It is the land where beauty’s meaning flowers;
Where every unplaced memory has a source;
Where the great river Time begins its course
Down the vast void in starlit streams of hours.
Dreams bring us close—but ancient lore repeats
That human tread has never soiled these streets.


DESCRIPTION: In his poem “Hesperia,” Lovecraft describes a fanciful dreamland, which inspires both fear and wonder in those who see it.

CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “Hesperia.” The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, 2013, p. 85.

Trying to Improve

I have tried to improve and subtilise my tales with the passing of years, but have not made the progress I wish. Some of my efforts have been cited in the O’Brien and O. Henry annuals, and a few have enjoyed reprinting in anthologies; but all proposals for a published collection have come to nothing. It is possible that one or two short tales may be issued as separate brochures before long. I never write when I cannot be spontaneous—expressing a mood already existing and demanding crystallisation. Some of my tales involve actual dreams I have experienced. My speed and manner of writing vary widely in different cases, but I always work best at night. Of my products, my favourites are “The Colour out of Space” and “The Music of Erich Zann”, in the order named. I doubt if I could ever succeed well in the ordinary kind of science fiction.


DESCRIPTION: In his essay “Some Notes on a Nonentity,” Lovecraft describes his dissatisfaction with his own writing and his rate of improvement.

CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “Some Notes on a Nonentity.” Collected Essays. Edited by S. T. Joshi, vol. 5, Hippocampus Press, 2006, pp. 207-11.