thanks. i wondered about that aspect [and about many other things] after i read Finn's recent new biog' of Howard.
I get the impression, Buxom, that Bob Howard was a bit too akward at the games lovers play in courtship. I think he lived too much in his own mind.
and thanks for the *SURRENDER* poem. it is very interesting but so sad and cold.
*I'll go to a girl who asks naught of life
Save wine and a drunkard's kisses.*
[ i wonder how many times Howard may have sneaked off to avail himself of such desperate, fleeting, basic pleasures of the flesh? were there any local whores near Cross plains? or would he have to drive into Mexico for such things?
i know someone briefly mentioned such a possibility on the forums a while ago.]
..now back to less seedy subjects...
did Howard ever write any poems about his mum, or dad, or his beloved family dog? [you know, when he could not cope with the dog's death and went away for days!]
TO ALL: thanks for all the poems and info/links in here. [ i will look up the LIN CARTER poems]
more poems please?
A couple of the little vignettes from the Letters seem to be talking about him visiting a local *****, likely one of many that came with the oil boom. And a Texan visit Boy's Town at the Border? No, really? Though whether such things really existed in his day, who knows. Though, it is the World's Oldest Profession. No poems about his family, or dog, or friends, sadly. Certainly some about Death, a topic he touched more than once.
I recently got a chance to finally read ALL of REH's poetry. A teenage niece asked to hear some of it. A scratched around, and read her two poems, and really didn't see any others that seemed appropriate. His poetry does tend to be bleak, sad, downer. He does have some humorous ones, but its geneally very different from his prose, which tends to end well with the hero victorious, and hope always there mixed with the the troubles to come.
One poem that I like to share, to be read slow and gently:
ADVENTURER , THE
Dusk on the sea; the fading twilight shifts?
The night wind bears the ocean?s whisper dim ?
Wind, on your bosom many a phantom drifts ?
A silver star climbs up the blue world rim.
Wind, make the green leaves dance above me here
And idly swing my silken hammock ? so;
Now, on that glimmering molten silver mere
Send the long ripples wavering to and fro.
And let your moon-white tresses touch my face
And let me know your slim-armed, cool embrace
While to my dreamy soul you whisper low.
Dream ? aye, I?ve dreamed since last night left her tower
And now again she comes on star-soled feet.
Welcome, old friend; here in this rose-gemmed bower
I?ve drowsed away your Sultan?s golden heat.
Here in my hammock, Time I?ve dreamed away
For I have but to stretch a hand out, lo,
I?m treading langurous Shores of Yesterday,
Moon-silvered deserts or the star-weird snow;
I float o?er seas where ships are purple shells,
I hear the tinkle of the camel bells
That waft down Cairo?s streets when dawn winds blow.
South Seas! I watch when dusky twilight comes
Making vague gods of ancient, sea-set trees.
The world path beckons ? loud the mystic drums ?
Here at my hand the magic golden keys
That fit the doors of Romance, Wonder, strange
Dim gossamer adventures; seas and stars.
Why, I have roamed the far Moon Mountain range
When sunset minted gold in shimmering bars.
All eager eyed I?ve sailed from ports of Spain
And watched the flashing topaz of the Main
When dawn was flinging witch fire on the spars.
I am content in dreams to roam my fill
The vagrant, drifting sport of wind and tide,
Slave of the greater freedom, venture?s thrill;
Here every magic ship on which I ride.
Gold, green, blue, red, a priceless treasure trove,
More wealth then ever pirate dared to dream.
My hammock swings ? about the world I rove.
The sunset?s dusk, the dawning?s glide and gleam,
Moon-dappled leaves are murmuring in the wind
Which whispers tales. Lo, Tyre is just behind,
Through seas of dawn I sail, Romance abeam.
And another I like to share. If you let it, start slow, and let the pace slowly build, it is really pretty amazing. You'll know when to stop and go back to slow. Very well done.
THE ADVENTURER?S MISTRESS
The fogs of night
Fling banners red
To cloak the fading sun.
And I haste to the height
Of the mountain head;
O?er sombre valleys silently spread
Where murmur the ghosts of forgotten dead,
Through the star-gleam glance
I go to dance
With my mistress, the Hooded One.
Now, as the night winds drone their dree
From the hidden caves of the ghostly sea,
And trees below wave dim in the vale,
And shadows flit through the star-light pale,
Weird night-tunes peal as we weave and reel
Like a maiden leal
And her cavalier.
But a grisly maid
Is the flitting shade
That sways with me through the moon-lit glade;
And the boldest knight
Like the poorest wight would flee the sight
With a ghastly fear.
But on we dance ?neath an eery sky
And light we prance, old Death and I!
Ah, beldame Death, old beldame Death!
We?ve tripped it many a time!
Our flying feet have weaved their beat
From the line to the Arctic clime.
I?ve felt your kiss in the gulf?s abyss
And the ooze of the tropic slime.
Your barren bones
Gleam a dreary white.
Through your lank ribs drone
The wind of the night.
An eery glimmer gleams and lies
In the empty sockets of your eyes,
Bleached as white as the wings of a gull
And you wear a garland upon your skull
Of ferns that grow through the swampy fen
Through the hidden bones of murdered men;
Of moss from the shores of the mid-night sea
Where hulls of ships strew the silent lea.
Now first with the left foot,
Then with the right;
Footing it featly through the night.
Soul to demon and fiend to man
We?ve danced this dance since Time began.
Around the world
Have flown our feet
In a dizzy whirl
But our lips ne?er meet.
T?is a grisly play
And I trip and sway
With her fleshless face a span away;
And her skeleton hand is at my wrist
But I swerve aside with a dexter twist
As she seeks to press her grim caress
Upon my lips. And she hops and skips.
And she leaps and trips
With her bones a-clank
Over barren stone
And waving grass
And the night-winds drone
As we meet and pass
And whirl again where the reeds grow rank.
Through the witch-light haze
We tread our ways
In a weird, fantastic, wizard maze.
Ah, beldame Death! Her love is grim
And she leads to trails that are long and dim.
She is aloof from loves and hates ?
She bears my taunts and she waits! She waits!
And a single instant off my guard,
A foot-a-slip on the pallid sward,
A saddle-girth loosed, a rended sail,
A hand that misses a wave-lashed rail,
A reef that lifts ?neath the plunging strakes,
A horse that falls or a sword that breaks ?
And the music stops and the whirl is o?er
And my feet are still for I dance no more.
But I?ll not grudge the game, I trow,
As I feel her kiss on my fading brow.
For I hold her dance is the only joy
That thrills the years and fails to cloy.
Aye, I hold her measure above all treasure
And I?ll only laugh as she bends to destroy.
RIGHT FOOT, WE WHIRL AND PRANCE
AND SPIN AWAY ON OUR WORLD LONG DANCE!