Horror of the “gothic” variety that occupied so much of the conversation between Byron and the Shelleys (these would be the conversations that ultimately gave rise to Frankenstein) has traditionally traded in some easily recognizable tropes. Among the most common are your haunted places. Swamps and moors are always a little scary. Graveyards and crypts, of course. Transylvania.
And then there’s haunted houses. Dark mansions, castles on top of hills. Abandoned homes where terrible things once happened. Subdivisions built on top of Indian burial grounds. And so on. Read more
I’ve long been convinced of two truths regarding poetry:
1: The easiest thing in the world to write is a love poem.
2: The hardest thing in the world to write is a good love poem.
Accordingly, I admire the hell out of a writer who can produce a tribute to his/her eternal love without making me a little sick to the stomach.
I think the problem I’ve often encountered is that great poetry – great art of any sort, really – is driven by tension. Whether it’s political rage, the fear of loss, the pain of mourning, whatever, it seems that the muse is more intrigued by that which is wrong with the world than that which is right. And love – real love, anyway – is an expression of two people’s triumph over the dark tension propelling most great artists. Most of the great love poems I can think of aren’t really love poems purely – they’re often driven by negative conditions. The love is unrequited, a lover is marching off to war, things like that. Read more