Poe's Spirits of the Dead is a walk through the graveyard, a treatise on death by one in mourning. The spirits of the dead live on in Poe's poem, and surround you as you walk the alleys of tombstones. The feeling of loneliness one gets as you wander the graves, Poe reasons is without merit, for the dead all around you. The time for spirits of the dead to walk again is the night, but night … [Read more...] about Edgar Allan Poe’s Spirits of the Dead: Thy soul shall find itself alone, ’Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone …
Poe's A City In The Sea is an apocalyptic vision, a conspiracy of evil set to rise up and usher in Hell on Earth. The city in question lies unnamed and without location, somewhere in the west. It's a peaceful city, not unlike the Atlantis legend, but it would be more apt to describe a progressive Sodom and Gomorrah. Poe describes towers, shrines, turrets, domes and spires, yet the light of … [Read more...] about Edgar Allan Poe’s A City In The Sea: Hell, rising from a thousand thrones, Shall do it reverence.
Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven represented the pinnacle of the author's success. Though most of his fame was brought on by his macabre tales and stories, Poe's The Raven took off and brought him national, as well as world-wide acclaim. Unfortunately it didn't bring him much in the way of income, when he desperately needed as he tried to make a life in New York City, accompanied by his wife ill … [Read more...] about Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven: Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
We’ve played with video for a while, and all along we hoped to make Poe videos for each of the songs on The Conqueror Worm. Since most people find our music typically find it through YouTube, and YouTube is a video platform, why not make the most of it? The original guidelines for the Poe videos were simple, shoot it on a phone or iPad, and use iMovie to edit. I wanted these videos to be … [Read more...] about On the Poe videos that accompany The Conqueror Worm, The Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe
https://youtu.be/oeLczupjZqA NEAR THE END OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, Irish poet William Butler Yeats became actively involved in magical circles, joining The Golden Dawn, one of the legendary occult societies of the time. Yeats would say that it was a "chief influence upon his thought." Yeats believed in fairies, not in the abstract, but as real creatures, according to at least one of his … [Read more...] about The Fairy Pedant by W.B. Yeats, 1895
https://youtu.be/-MpMZvLHnio Excerpt from from the book "The Story and Song of Black Roderick" AND I BID THEE REMEMBER how the little pale bride was wont to sit upon the mountain and watch the far lights in her father's home quench themselves one by one. So now of how she died shall I tell thee, and of what came to her in her passing, lest thou thinkest so innocent a child had laid … [Read more...] about Watcher In The Woods by Dora Sigerson Shorter, 1906
https://youtu.be/iZdinztu7aY Ingram wasn't a poet by nature perhaps, but he made a great song lyricist. Colorful, but simple and short, unlike most of the poets of the age. He chose the moment before the Bell Witch first made her appearance to Betsy, when life was sane and magical, in a good sort of way. The truth of the story we'll never known. We'll never know whether the horrors inflicted … [Read more...] about Queen of the Haunted Dell, by M.V. Ingram, Authenticated history of the Bell Witch, 1894.
https://youtu.be/hqp_g1-zkQA Edmund Spenser wrote Epithalamion for Elizabeth Boyle, his bride to be as wedding gift. It's an account of their wedding day, from before dawn till late in the night, following the consummation of the marriage. Consisting of 24 stanzas, corresponding to the 24 hours of Midsummer Day, it also contains 364 lines, matching the days in a year. It follows the cycle of … [Read more...] about Poem 19 (from Epithalamion) by Edmund Spenser, 1594
https://youtu.be/oDjS9PhFuwg The Sands of Dee is a poem within a novel, Alton Locke, written by Charles Kingsley in 1849. Like most great rock and roll, he pens the lines to impress a girl, to give words to an air she's played on the piano. An air without words. What is an air? To the Irish, an air is a song played on an instrument, wordlessly. As opposed to a tune, which is a melody never … [Read more...] about The Sands of Dee (from Alton Locke) By Charles Kingsley, 1849
https://youtu.be/Aw8SQU7ljBg Kipling included this little poem in his book Traffics & Discoveries in 1904. Some say it's a children't poem, an allegory. The Kipling society folks seem to think it's about naval warfare. A political tale. I love the imagery, the tone. In a few short lines, Kipling creates an impossible world, where witches and egg shells can speak to one another, albeit in … [Read more...] about The Eggshell by Rudyard Kipling, 1904
Visitor to a Moonlit Churchyard by Philip James De Loutherbourg, 1790 https://youtu.be/tvPQxGYiskQ Something is happening in The Listeners, but we never know what. We know it's about keeping promises, keeping your word, even if there's nobody there, nobody living at least to know that you did. Are the listeners the living or the dead? Is the traveller in fact the dead one, returning … [Read more...] about The Listeners by Walter de la Mare, 1912
https://youtu.be/XNEQTOgKYE8 MOSTLY FORGOTTEN TODAY, James Russell Lowell lived and breathed New England. Much as Mark Twain became the voice and accent of the midwest - the frontier at the time, Lowell became the archetype of the Yankee dialect. And in the process, helped define the mindset of the region. Born and living mainly his whole life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he was … [Read more...] about Midnight by James Russell Lowell, 1842
https://youtu.be/O59iDcicIs0 IN THE EARLY SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, renowned dramatist, poet and favorite of the royal court composed a series of masques for the court's entertainment. A masque consisted of music, dance and acting, performed in a private setting featuring elaborate costumes, professional actors and elaborate stage design. The stage and costumes were often designed by … [Read more...] about The Witches’ Song, from Ben Johnson’s Masque of Queens, 1609
ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS to come to mind when you think of Shakespeare's Macbeth is the witches. "Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble" is quite cliche, isn't it? But it's also one of the archetypes for witches in the modern era. Shakespeare's play is full of the supernatural, from the witches and their prophecies to ghosts and of course, murder in a variety of forms, as well as revenge and … [Read more...] about Act IV Scene I (The Witches Song) from the Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, 1606
https://youtu.be/rPD2vdtzZ3Y Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream is likely the most influential fairy tale of all time, albeit geared towards adults. It also gave us three of the most famous of all ... Oberon, Titania and of course, Puck. Oberon has an odd provenance, starting with ties to the Merovingian dynasty, who are rumored by some to be descendants of the blood line of Jesus … [Read more...] about Excerpts from William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” 1595-96
Whenas in silks my Julia goes, Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows That liquefaction of her clothes. Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see That brave vibration each way free, O how that glittering taketh me! https://youtu.be/jQyJRWP7lNA Dear H., I was talking to a friend about recording poems from the romantic era as songs, and he suggested this … [Read more...] about Upon Julia’s Clothes by Robert Herrick
https://youtu.be/PxMVIAA3tUM I heard a thousand blended notes, While in a grove I sate reclined, In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind. To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man. Through primrose tufts, in that green bower, The periwinkle trailed … [Read more...] about Lines Written In Early Spring by William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
https://youtu.be/Cwy7n9ddiY8 Lyrics excerpted from Frost at Midnight by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, Whether the summer clothe the general earth With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch Of mossy apple-tree, while the night-thatch Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall Heard only in … [Read more...] about Prelude to the Seasons
https://youtu.be/l4iwqWug6A0 Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind As man’s ingratitude; Thy tooth is not so keen, Because thou art not seen, Although thy breath be rude. Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly: Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly.Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, That dost not bite … [Read more...] about Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind by William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
https://youtu.be/JmjvIKnsoUg Spring Quiet By Christina Rossetti Gone were but the Winter, Come were but the Spring, I would go to a covert Where the birds sing; Where in the whitethorn Singeth a thrush, And a robin sings In the holly-bush. Full of fresh scents Are the budding boughs Arching high over A cool green house; Full of sweet scents, And … [Read more...] about For a Dream’s Sake: The Poetry of Christina Rossetti Pt. 1 (Spring Quiet)