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Thread: Dark and sinister poetry?

  1. #1
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    Dark and sinister poetry?

    Hey people,
    Now I'm by no means a poetry-connoisseur, I would like to think I am, but obviously I can't be. I'm also lazy, which explains why I can't seek for dark and sinister poetry myself. Also I like posing questions to you guys, because you seem to be able to posit an incredible amount of needed information.

    Anyhoo, I'm looking for poetry with a somber, bizarre and disturbing tone. I know Baudelaire has some pretty scary ones, and obviously Poe (but I don't care for him as a poet), Blake also has some. I prefer it if the poets aren't too canonical, but if you think there's any that you just can't refrain from bringing up; it's quite probable I have overlooked it.

    Cheers!

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    Registered User Saladin's Avatar
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    Check out "The Raven" and "Ulalume" by Poe.
    Always do that, wild ducks do. They shoot to the bottom as deep as they can get, sir — and bite themselves fast in the tangle and seaweed — and all the devil's own mess that grows down there. And they never come up again. - The Wild Duck, Henrik Ibsen.


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    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Some of the work of Browning is quite sinsiter and dark.

    I would recomned:

    Prophyria's Lover
    My Last Dutchess
    Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister
    The Labratory


    Those are the ones that stick out in my mind the most

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Wild is the Wind Silas Thorne's Avatar
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    Byron's 'Darkness'
    Keats' 'La belle dame sans merci' (I think that's it)
    Aeschylus' 'Oresteia' (3 plays-Look for the speeches of the Furies)
    I'm sure there are lots of others, I just can't can't think of any right now.

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    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.

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    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Christabel- Coleridge
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

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    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Heinrich Heine has quite a few:

    A Woman from Ballads as well as a good many from a collection entitled Thanatos.

    Goethe's Erlkönig

    For "sinister" and dark in another manner check into Bertolt Brecht's poems... especially the Manual of Piety.

    There is also Rimbaud's Season in Hell and Drunken Boat.

    Also check out The Unquiet Grave, and Old English Ballad:

    http://www.penddraig.co.uk/pen/grave.htm
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
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    Wow, thank you. I'll be checking those out! Saladin, I'm not too keen on Poe's poetry, the themes are good but... I don't know, there's just something about Poe, he's not a very cogent poet.

    Anyway, what I mean by sinister is poems about murder, incest, rape, the devil or other frowned upon topics in our politically correct discourse.

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    'The Fairies' by William Allingham...

    The quintessential rape poem is perhaps Shakespeare's 'The Rape of Lucrece', though it deals with other issues (politics, honour, etc.) as much as with the rape itself.

    Check also Adrienne Rich's incredibly powerful poem, "Frame".

  10. #10
    Swinburne's "The Leper" seems to be exactly your cup o' tea.

    Apart from those already mentioned, here's all I can come up with for the moment:

    Rape: Yeats's "Leda and the Swan"

    Scatological: Swift's "The Lady's Dressing Room"

    Suicide: Álvaro de Campos's untitled poem (first line "If you want to kill yourself, why don't you want to kill yourself?")

    Destruction: Frost's "Fire and Ice"

    Frankly insulting language: Rochester's "Satyr on Charles II"

    Somewhat depressing:
    Yeats's "When you are old"
    Keats's "When I have fears that I may cease to be"

    You should also have a look at war poetry, Owens, Rosenberg, and the like. I think you'd like Owens's "Exposure".

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    Anything by Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, or Charles Bukowski (for just seeming twisted in his own way ).

    One specific:
    "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning

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    Haha wow, scatology eh? Can't see how one goes about writing a good poem on that subject, but it sure is controversial. Thanks everybody, I'm loving this. Just found a copy of Rimbauds collected works somewhere in my poetry collection and I loved "A Season in Hell". Not sure what it's about yet, seems rather incoherent and esoteric but it has a sinister beauty to it. I've dug out Frost's "Fire and Ice", and the Yeats suggestions. I'll try to find my Poetry collections with Browning in 'em, I know I have some.

    Again, thanks! And keep them coming!

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    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    Stlukesguild - good call on "Erlkonig".

    I recommend "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg (And not just because he's a fellow Berkeleyean). It's a really sobering look at American society in the '70s.

    Be warned, it's rather long: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15308

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    Oh yeah I've read Ginsbergs Howl, it's quite good. But I feel it loses something in it's momentum, oh well..

    Thank you Kandaurov, I'll get to reading those right away

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