I think that I shall never see, Any good Fantastic poetry, So far all that I’ve seen has been, Hacked out by a badly leaking pen. But, just in case some lad or lass, Thinks that his epic will hack surpass. I beg of them to send in their all, And heed my low and pleading call. By Duggie Fisher Junior, Odd 7 (October 1950)
|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959|
|Fantasy poetry of course dates from the earliest times. Science-fiction has not seemed such a good subject for poetic flights, but efforts have been made by fans (some worthy) and among famous poets scientistic pieces are found -- notably in Tennyson and Kipling -- tho some with stfnal themes are actually anti-science.
In fandom and the proz we have: ballads, usually of rather simple appeal; a couple of epics; such semi-narrative and descriptive poems as "Passing of the Planets"; store of poetry expressing personal feeling with no connection with fantasy save that fantasy fans have written it or Red Moon, Martian Lover, first space flight, ktp, are substituted for mundane themes; dadaistic and metaphysical stuff; jingles like daffy poetics; and a great many parodies of various types of poems and songs.
All the familiar verse forms are used. Lowndes and others have written many sonnets (and Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth are favorites), vers libre is popular with our Bohemians, Speer has plugged the Anglo-Saxon measure. Standard stanza division is usual in poems of more than filler size; there has been comparatively little blank verse.
All-poetry booklets appear with reasonable frequency. FAPA has a poetry laureate, and a short-lived SF Poets' Guild was organized by Pohl in 1938.
Poetry fanzines and semiprozines:
- Bleak December
- Eye to the Telescope
- Gafia Poetry Leaflet Series
- Inner Circle
- The Magazine of Speculative Poetry
- Perdita: Songs of Love Sex and Self Pity
- Segments of an Eclipsed Reality
- The Silent Planet
- Snowflakes in the Sun
- Treaders of Starlight
|From Fancyclopedia 1, ca. 1944|
|Fantasy poetry of course dates from earliest times. Science-fiction has not seemed such a good theme for poetic flites, but efforts have been made by fans, some worthy, and among great poets sciencistic pieces were found, notably in Tennyson. A good example of purely science-fiction poetry is the Planet Prince's quatrain:
"And my mind goes soaring upward
A bit over done, but genuine. In fandom and the pros we have: ballads, usually of rather simple appeal; one epic; other semi-narrative and descriptive poems such as "Passing of the Planets"; store of love lyrics and others expressing personal feeling, which have no connection with fantasy except that fantasy fans have written them, as well as numerous fantasy lyrics addressed to Red Moon or a Martian lover or the first space flite; dadistic and metaphysical stuff; jingles like daffy poetics; and a great many parodies of various types of poems and songs.
All the familiar verse forms are used. Lowndes and others have written many sonnets (Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth are favorites), vers libre is popular with our Bohemians, Speer has plugged the Anglo-Saxon measure. Standard stanza division is usually in poems of grater than filler size; there has been comparatively little blank vers.
All poetry booklets appear rather often. There was a short-lived SF Poets' Guild. The FAPA has a poetry laureate.
- ↑ See below for the complete poem, from the November 1929 issue of Science Wonder Stories. Fancyclopedia’s Jack Speer apparently never saw the whole Planet Prince poem before including that one quatrain. The misquoted stanza in Fancyclopedia 1 appeared in a loc from D. R. Welch in the same 1934 Wonder Stories as Speer’s letter, mentioned below. In a 1956 fanoir, “Fancyclopedia Forever!” Speer wrote, “When I found what the second verse was of ‘And my mind goes soaring upward,’ I wished I could expunge that.”
- ↑ Two poems by H. S. Zerrin, “Passing of the Planets—Luna” and “PotP—Venus,” that appeared in the March and April 1934 issues of Wonder Stories. In the November issue, a letter from Jack Speer complained, “What’s happened to the rest of that series ‘Passing of the Planets’? Surely other planets besides the moon and Venus have, or some day, will pass.” (Alas, we can find no more of Zerrin’s work anywhere.)
My Little Martian Sweetheart
How this man-filled world seems vacant When the long earth-day is o’er! As I sit in my apartment On the hundred-twentieth floor. Then my mind goes soaring upward. Far beyond our dreary ken. To a desert, dying planet. And a dying race of men. Oh, my little Martian sweetheart In your crimson world afar, I will soon be up to greet you In my little space-o-car. You will steal away to meet me In the garden in the air, O’er the great canals that vanish ’Neath the polar ice-caps’ flare. And will swoop into the darkness On our stellar journey start, While your tiny Martian moonlets Through your fearful heavens dart. Passing them with speed of lightning, Scaling steps of untold height, Darting through a whirl of comets, Dashing through a spray of light. Diving, lighting, climbing, looping, Through the universe of space, Till the warm red blood is pumping, And we check our headlong pace. Sailing there in all our splendor, Through the darkest voids of space, Far from where our distant Daystar Shows his point-diminished face. And you’ll turn those red lips upward, Eyelids drooping like a hood— Careful, little Martian sweetheart, Earthly man is not of wood! For those blue eyes, all alluring, Seem to beg a loving kiss, And my dreams float swiftly backward, To the scenes of Terra’s bliss. For I see a Terrene cottage, Hung with vines of earthly green, Where, my little Martian sweetheart, You will reign, my lifelong queen. So, my little Martian sweetheart In your crimson world afar, I will soon be up to greet you In my little space-o-car.