Tag Archives: world war 1

H.P. Lovecraft's Patriotic Poetry

H.P. Lovecraft’s Patriotic Poetry

Ol’ Lovecraft fancied himself a poet, and he had a bit of a Hallmark streak in him and often penned verse to national holidays. I’ve shared his Christmas versification in the past, and we looked at his Halloween verse. Here in the United States, our Independence Day celebrations are right around the corner so I thought it’d be fitting look at Lovecraft’s patriotic poem.


Ode for July Fourth, 1917

As Columbia’s brave scions, in anger array’d,
 Once defy’d a proud monarch and built a new nation;
’Gainst their brothers of Britain unsheath’d the sharp blade
 That hath ne’er met defeat nor endur’d desecration;
  So must we in this hour
  Show our valour and pow’r,
And dispel the black perils that over us low’r:
 Whilst the sons of Britannia, no longer our foes,
 Will rejoice in our triumphs and strengthen our blows!

See the banners of Liberty float in the breeze
 That plays light o’er the regions our fathers defended;
Hear the voice of the million resound o’er the leas,
 As the deeds of the past are proclaim’d and commended;
  And in splendour on high
  Where our flags proudly fly,
See the folds we tore down flung again to the sky:
 For the Emblem of England, in kinship unfurl’d,
 Shall divide with Old Glory the praise of the world!

Bury’d now are the hatreds of subject and King,
 And the strife that once sunder’d an Empire hath vanish’d.
With the fame of the Saxon the heavens shall ring
 As the vultures of darkness are baffled and banish’d;
  And the broad British sea,
  Of her enemies free,
Shall in tribute bow gladly, Columbia to thee:
 For the friends of the Right, in the field side by side,
 Form a fabric of Freedom no hand can divide!


The US got involved in The Great War in 1917, so it’s fair to say Lovecraft is offering up a bit of reflection for past events and the current situation in the world. I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for the whole national personification thing—it’s such a delightfully weird tradition.

Happy Independence Day, fellow Americans and happy Tuesday to everyone else.

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Are you Lovecraft fan? Like cosmic horror? Like gritty urban fantasy? Why not check out my novels—they’re cosmic horror adventures set in a post-apocalyptic world after the return of Lovecraft’s monstrosities. Buy the series here read reviews over on Goodreads. All three are available in eBook or paperback.

The Bell Forging Cycle

 

On Armistice

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short day ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCraeIn Flanders Fields (1915)


It’s Veterans Day here in the United States, Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations, and  Armistice Day everywhere else. A day set aside around the world to reflect on the ending of World War I which ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918—one hundred years ago today.

World War I is a moment in history we should all consider, and its one we should not forget. The outcome and ramifications of that terrible mess of a war influenced so much of the following century. So, if you’re in the States thanking a veteran, take some time to pause and reflect on WW1 as well.

If you want to know more about the Great War. Here are a few places to start.


📖 Something to Read:

The Guns of August: The Outbreak of World War I by Barbara W. TuchmanThe Guns of August: The Outbreak of World War I
by Barbara W. Tuchman
My favorite nonfiction books tend to read like fiction, they tell engaging stories. Tuchman is that sort of historian, and she makes the early days of WW1 as riveting as it was tragic.


🎧 Something to Hear:

Hardcore History 50 – Blueprint for Armageddon IHardcore History 50 — Blueprint for Armageddon I
by Dan Carlin

Carlin is a historian who does deep dives into moments in history on his podcast Hardcore History. I’ve been listening to him for years. He’s an invaluable resource and a dynamic storyteller. Very much worth a listen.


📺 Something to Watch:

Impossible Peace: The Time Between World WarsImpossible Peace: The Time Between World Wars
by Michael Cove
This documentary series produced for the History Channel looks into the time between the wars—only twenty years separated the tragedy of WW1 from the violence of WW2, and Europe was in turmoil.


lest we forget