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Poetry has always dabbled in the dark-side of life – literally always. Our earliest poetry was obsessed with monsters, murder, horror, and hauntings. “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” “The Iliad,” “The Odyssey,” “Beowulf,” “The Inferno,” “Ovid’s Metamorphoses,” “The Faerie Queene,” and “La Morte d’Arthur” all involve sorcery, monsters, and the macabre. This collection of Gothic poetry includes 84 samplings from the masters of the genre: Poe, Dickinson, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, Keats, Goethe, Frost, Burns, Milton, Pushkin, and more. These poems range from epics (“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”) to a few lines (“Theme in Yellow”), and span in time from the Elizabethan Age to the Great Depression. They deal with ghostly abductions, soul-crushing curses, shapeshifting seducers, brutal goblin hordes, atmospheric nightscapes, ghost-plagued houses, merciless witches, lustful vampires and yes – a couple poems about black cats and jack-o-lanterns.


While most were originally written in English, many have been translated from German, French, Russian, Middle English, and Scots, bringing together a cross-cultural exploration of human anxieties, fantasies, and nightmares. In the meantime, we offer this little volume of verse to read on cold autumn nights – perchance with a glass of mulled wine at your elbow, by the pallid flicker of a blood-red candle dripping down the skull on your desk.


Poe, Dickinson, Frost, Sandburg, Goethe, Blake, Burns, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Pushkin, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Riley, Heine, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Hardy, 

Milton, Shakespeare, Beddoes, Rossetti, Noyes, Burger, Carroll, Cawein, Browning, Aiken, Kipling, Liddell, Longfellow, Robinson, Dunbar, Lazarus, Rilke, Stevenson, and more...