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Member Since 31 Dec 2008
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In Topic: REH Word Of The Week

Today, 01:06 AM


REH was in a bible class for awhile--probably to be near the blonde he secretly admired. He must have participated because he was vice president of one of the bible studies groups. But I think you and I might be in the minority on the punctuation. Still, it's just something I think about whenever I read "These Things are Gods."


I looked it up on HowardWorks Verse titles. http://www.howardwor...THINGS_ARE_GODS

Notice there is no date for this poem but there is an interesting note under the title: "A titled version is included in a list of REH poems that Kline possessed."


My guess is it was sent to him by Dr. Howard. Don't know though. .


Finding interesting little tidbits is the fun of poking around in REH's poetry.


In Topic: Hyborian Limmericks + Rhymes

29 July 2015 - 03:07 PM

Yes, I try to rhyme words in my head also but I grab my rhyming dictionary when I get stuck. Sometimes it helps; sometimes it leads me in different directions.


Nice usage of quidnunc! Love, the final greeting. It's a great word and should have a more exalted meaning than an inquisitive, gossipy person. Perhaps the high butler in a stately manor or a sorcerer's apprentice just before graduation. Or perhaps something more whimsical.


'Twas a quidnuncy day in the warm month of May.

And spring filled the air at the Renaissance Faire 


The original meaning of quidnunc doesn't fit but the essence and spirit of the word does. In this case it would encompass the totality of buzzing of bees, flights of ladybugs and colorful birds singing, country meadows of flowers, blue skies, Children laughing and running to and fro and adults enjoying the faire. The total feeling and experience of all those things. Boy! I am waxing poetic, aren't I. Well back to the real world and getting deadlines met.


In Topic: Hyborian Limmericks + Rhymes

29 July 2015 - 05:11 AM

Hi Sorceress,

Looked up *unk* in my rhyming dictionary and came up with the following most of which you have already used:






















quidnunc (n. archaic for an inquisitive, gossipy person. What a great word!)


There are a few different ones there so Go Girl! Challenging--especially quidnunc.


Been to busy to post any new poems but I'll get around to it one of these days. In the meantime, all of you are doing very very well without any help! 




In Topic: REH Word Of The Week

27 July 2015 - 08:39 AM

The Word of the Week for July 27, 2015 is throng










Word of the Week has a new home. The REHupa website is now dedicated to Howard scholarship and will eventually offer more links for research. I will continue to do background information here on the Conan Forum.



NOTE: Damon and I are still getting things organized for Word of the Week. It hasn't posted on the Two-Gun Raconteur website yet but I'm sure it will be there soon. Here is the background for this week's post! Your patience is appreciated.....BarB


* * * * *


This week’s poem “The Cells of the Coliseum” was not published in REH’s lifetime. Throng is a word used quite frequently by REH both as a noun and a verb. I’ve given a few examples of each and chose a couple of poems to highlight because of their interesting subject matter.




In “Baal” it is lesser gods that throng about:


My name is Baal; I walked the world of yore

And men and women gave me worship then.

My imaged fanes rose high on many a shore—

My priests were wise with all the ages’ lore;

Before me bowed all ranks and tribes of men.

My silver image sat with jeweled eyes

Above the lesser gods that thronged about

The mighty hall. There kings would often come

And then the trumpets clamored to the skies,

The halls re-echoed to the clanging drum

And to the shouts of the adoring rout.


Also a verb in The Gates of Babylon. What’s interesting here is finding alternative possibilities to throng. Yet none of them quite nail the tone of the poem in the same way.


But the lean wolves slink from the scarlet hills,

And the kites and the vultures throng the land;

And we ride full soon through a bloody dawn

O’er the shattered gates of Babylon

With death at our left hand.


Gates of Babylon had birds thronging. In Shadows on the Road, it’s Roman Legions.


Nial of Ulster, welcome home!

What saw you on the road to Rome?—

Legions thronging the fertile plains?

Shouting hordes of the country folk

With the harvest heaped in their groaning wains?

Shepherds piping under the oak?

Laurel chaplet and purple cloak?

Smokes of the feasting coiled on high?

Meadows and fields of the rich, ripe green

Lazing under a cobalt sky?

Brown little villages sleeping between?

What saw you on the road to Rome?

“Crimson tracks in the blackened loam,

“Skeleton trees and a blasted plain,

“A heap of skulls and a child insane,

“Ruin and wreck and the reek of pain

“On the wrack of the road to Rome.”


In Baal, the lesser gods thronged. REH also used birds and Roman Legions. Here in Solomon Kane’s Homecoming 1, it the people in a tavern.


The people followed wonderingly to mark his spectral stare,
And in the tavern silently they thronged about him there.
He heard as a man hears in a dream the worn old rafters creak,
And Solomon lifted his drinking-jack and spoke as a ghost might speak:




Throng is another word for crowd. In Days of Glory poem the crowd is described as gay clad.


Ah, those were glittering, jeweled days

Of glory, gallantry and flare

Of trumpets boasting down the ways

That royalty came riding there.

The tramp of steeds with gold-shod hoofs

Beat out like distant fairy gongs

As star-eyed maidens from the roofs

Tossed roses to the gay clad throngs.

There slave girls stood, their tresses dyed;

Dust stained from many a desert mile,

The bearded Eastern farers vied

With dark browed traders from the Nile.


In Eric of Norway throng is not used as a rhyming word so its usage is even more interesting.


Nearer, the hearts beat faster, hands shaded starry eyes,

And “Great Thor, is it Eric’s or Harald’s?” was breathed like a hundred sighs.

Then from the throng upon the wharf rose up a mighty cry,

For all could see the cormorant flashing against the sky.

And hanging far below it, marred by tear and stain,

The black flag of the Raven that would never fly again.


In Kid Lavigne is Dead, REH uses it as a rhyming word in the first stanza and again in the next one. Of course the word “crowd” could substituted for the second usage but it seems to detract from the atmosphere of the poem. There’s music in the word throng. The final “g” vibrates in the throat and its echoes seem to go on forever. It isn’t any wonder why REH used it so frequently.


Hang up the battered gloves; Lavigne is dead.

Bold and erect he went into the dark.

The crown is withered and the crowds are fled,

The empty ring stands bare and lone—yet hark:

The ghostly roar of many a phantom throng

Floats down the dusty years, forgotten long.


Hot blazed the lights above the crimson ring

Where there he reigned in his full prime, a king.

The throngs’ acclaim roared up beneath their sheen

And whispered down the night: “Lavigne! Lavigne!”

Red splashed the blood and fierce the crashing blows,

Men staggered to the mat and reeling rose.

Crowns glittered there in splendor, won or lost,

And bones were shattered as the sledges crossed.


It’s easy to see why REH used throng in The Poets since it’s a rhyming word here.


Who penned this lyric? Who this sonnet? Whence

The soul on fire that snared these stars in song?

Who knows? Who cares? A vast indifference

Is all the answer of the marching throng.


Again, in The Road to Hell there is the same two rhyming words. Only this crowd of people is shuffling, not marching. It’s one of Howard’s humorous poems.


We shuffled through the scarlet dust,

            A roaring, careless throng;

Red mountains bowed before our lust,

            We shook the stars with song.


Red cinder showers rose and fell,

            As with a furious din

We battered at the gates of Hell,

            Roaring to be let in.


Then Satan rose in angry pride:

            “Who comes in such rude way?”

“The souls are we, who would not bide

            “Until the Judgment Day.”


“Let saints and friars meekly sleep

            “Till Gabriel’s trumpets boom;

“But we, whose souls be red and deep,

            “Go laughing to our doom!”


“Red laughter, salt with savage brine,

            “From crimson seas of sin!

“Unbar the brazen gates, you swine,

            “And let your masters in!”


“Shackled on earth by fate and star,

            “We writhed beneath the rods;

“But by the gods, in death we are

            “The rulers of the gods!”


Every time I read These Things Are Gods,  I find myself questioning it. In Howard’s early writing, he rarely put an apostrophe in contracted words such as don’t, won’t, etc. The above poem takes a different meaning when an apostrophe is added to god’s. Did he mean multiple gods or one god and was it intended as the Christian God? I puzzled over this for a long while and did a cursory check of his usage of the word “god” and its capitalization. When referring to gods (multiple) it was lower case and when referring to the Christian God, it was capitalized. A more thorough research needs to be done to check out the dates of the lower case spelling of god. Were these poems written early or later is the question. It’s like two different poems, depending upon how you read gods.


Wild geese beating across an autumn moon,

The long drawn sigh of a violin in a master hand,

The musk of roses through the whispering twilight,

The sting of salt spray in your face.

Moonlight drifting through the leaves and branches,

Making ghost-silver designs on the forest floor.

The blaze of a desert sun,

The laugh of a girl,

The fragrance of silky tresses in your face.

Red lips against eager lips,

When breezes murmur through the leaves and the two of you

Are murmuring softly in the starlight.

Long, smooth muscles rippling under a boxer’s skin,

The stench of sweat and tobacco smoke,

The crash of a gory glove,

The blood-lusting chant of the throng:

These things are gods.


REH’s poetry shows how versatile the word throng is and that Howard used it in so many different ways. I only showed a few samples of those poems here. Of all the possibilities, “Cells of the Coliseum” was selected for this week’s poem because it contains another one of REH’s wonderful metaphors in the last two lines of this verse:


A silence falls along the halls;

The lions mutter in the gloom.

How Time along the hours crawls

Like some great sluggish worm of doom.


Not an easily forgotten image.


In Topic: REH Word Of The Week

26 July 2015 - 01:08 AM

Thanks everyone. My family and I appreciate your good thoughts.