H.P. Lovecraft’s Spooky Poem About Edgar Allan Poe

Edwin H. Manchester, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Edwin H. Manchester, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain / Edwin H. Manchester, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

In 1938, the fantasy and horror magazine Weird Tales published an acrostic sonnet, written by H.P. Lovecraft, entitled “Where Once Poe Walked.” In the poem, Lovecraft wanders through a haunted graveyard, encounters a specter, and spells out Edgar Allan Poe’s full name in the process. 

A posthumous publication (Lovecraft actually passed away in 1937), the poem is a testament both to Lovecraft's poetic abilities and Poe's literary legacy.

Though Lovecraft's works weren't discovered by a wide audience until after his death, his stories were published in numerous pulp magazines throughout the 1920s and '30s. Poe, meanwhile, is widely credited with inventing detective fiction, and helping shape genre fiction like sci-fi and horrror—so it's unsurprising that Lovecraft would be a fan.

The poem is a touching—if spooky–tribute to one master of terror from another. Read it out below, if you dare:

Eternal brood the shadows on this ground, Dreaming of centuries that have gone before; Great elms rise solemnly by slab and mound, Arched high above a hidden world of yore. Round all the scene a light of memory plays, And dead leaves whisper of departed days, Longing for sights and sounds that are no more. Lonely and sad, a specter glides along Aisles where of old his living footsteps fell; No common glance discerns him, though his song Peals down through time with a mysterious spell. Only the few who sorcery's secret know, Espy amidst these tombs the shade of Poe.

[h/t: Futility Closet]