The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson edited by Jane Frank
Hardcover – Tartarus Press – 2005 – 137 pages
The Lost Poetry presents three previously unpublished collections of William Hope Hodgson’s verse, as he arranged them: Mors Deorum and Other Poems, Through Enchantments and Other Poems on Death, and Spume, which together include forty-three poems never seen before.
Hodgson is best known for his novels and stories of horror and the supernatural, but, despite the lack of previous critical research into his poetry, the sheer quantity of output proves Jane Frank’s assertion that ‘…poetry was a significant creative outlet for Hodgson throughout his adult life’.
The poems range widely in form — from ballads, epic verse, and dirges to sea shanties — and, perhaps not surprisingly, given Hodgson’s early apprenticeship in the Merchant Navy, it is the sea which ‘provide the most dramatic and compelling motif…and which informs and illustrates [Hodgson’s] most frequently explored themes: death, immortality, love, religious faith, patriotism, loss, the meaning of life.’
‘Nightmarish lights, breathless gloom, silent streams where “dim, ghostly trout shine in the spectral shallows”; these and many other original concepts are revealed in Hodgson’s poetry, providing pleasure for enthusiasts and the more general reader alike. The total effect…is to reveal William Hope Hodgson as at core writer vividly alive, vigorous and pulsing with energy.” -Jane Frank