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#468747 - 08/10/14 10:52 AM Adventurer by Robert E Howard
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2716
Loc: durham, north england
Robert E Howard was the creator of conan the Barbarian and whatever else you think about his writing he did manage to have a really amazing style. I'm a big fan of his poems, ---- or at least some of them, and his "always comes evening" is something I regard as truly beautiful, a statement of how bad things get.

this is however the opposite, a hymn to imagination, also probably something that strikes a cord with me, entitled "the adventurer" I hope people like:

Dusk on the sea; the fading twilight shifts'
The night wind bears the ocean's whisper dim—
Wind, on your bosom many a phantom drifts—
A silver star climbs up the blue world rim.
Wind, make the green leaves dance above me
And idly swing my silken hammock—so;
Now, on that glimmering molten silver mere
Send the long ripples wavering to and fro.
And let your moon-white tresses touch my face
And let me know your slim-armed, cool
While to my dreamy soul you whisper low.
Dream—aye, I've dreamed since last night left
her tower
And now again she comes on star-soled feet.
Welcome, old friend; here in this rose-gemmed
I've drowsed away your Sultan's golden heat.
Here in my hammock, Time I've dreamed away
For I have but to stretch a hand out, lo,
I'm treading langurous shores of Yesterday,
Moon-silvered deserts or the star-weird snow;
I float o'er seas where ships are purple shells,
I hear the tinkle of the camel bells
That waft down Cairo's streets when dawn
winds blow.
South Seas! I watch when dusky twilight comes
Making vague gods of ancient, sea-set trees.
The world path beckons—loud the mystic
Here at my hand the magic golden keys
That fit the doors of Romance, Wonder,
Dim gossamer adventures; seas and stars.
Why, I have roamed the far Moon Mountain
When sunset minted gold in shimmering bars.
All eager eyed I've sailed from ports of Spain
And watched the flashing topaz of the Main
When dawn was flinging witch fire on the spars.
I am content in dreams to roam my fill
The vagrant, drifting sport of wind and tide,
Slave of the greater freedom, venture's thrill;
Here every magic ship on which I ride.
Gold, green, blue, red, a priceless treasure
More wealth than ever pirate dared to dream.
My hammock swings—about the world I rove.
The sunset's dusk, the dawning's glide and
Moon-dappled leaves are murmuring in the wind
Which whispers tales. Lo, Tyre is just behind,
Through seas of dawn I sail, Romance abeam.

#468811 - 08/12/14 04:54 AM Re: Adventurer by Robert E Howard [Re: dark empathy]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: š¯’Ŗ š¯’¦anada
love it.

great tip.

always been a conan fan, by crom!
but never knew about the poet behind it.


#469050 - 08/17/14 08:16 AM Re: Adventurer by Robert E Howard [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2716
Loc: durham, north england
glad you like. As I said always comes evening is rather the oposite of this. I can't say Conan has been a real thing for me, indeed I only discovered the original conan stories a few years ago, and while I loved the style, and also appreciated the fact that Conan wasn't just the dumb muscle head that later incarnations made him out to be a lot of what was in the stories struck me as a bit wrong, and not just the obvious things like racism, sexism and glorification of sexual slavery (they were after all written close to 80 years ago).

However, I had a lot of difficulty with the idea of a hero who was exemplified through violence, and that this was all part of being male. Conan is after all at rock bottom a thief, a thug possibly a rapist, or at least someone who only views women as a temporary source of pleasure. I also never found I could sympathize with Conan particularly, sinse I never really like invincible, invulnerable characters, I'd much rather read about someone very human and flawed and wounded who succeeds than just someone who punches their way through without a scratch either physical or emotional, which is also probably why i have such a strong dislike of the Super hero genre, (though there are exceptions). Indeed, I'd argue that Tolkien's best and most lasting contribution to fantasy literature wasn't his world or his language or history, but simply the idea of very human, very small characters in an extraordinary or fantastic setting.

The thing I always love in Howard however though are his descriptions of far off lands and creatures. There's a quality in fantasy when done corrctly, a sort of mystery. Something really exotic and alien which can be both beautiful and terrible at the same time, and few writers were able to capture this as well as Howard. This is very much why I love his poetry, sinse you have all the good of his conan stories without the bad bits, ie conan himself.

Interestingly enough, George R r martin (who people will know from game of thrones), apparently began his reading of fantasy not with lord of the rings, but with Conan. I'm fairly sure that Martin named King Robert after Robert E howard, especially with Robert being a drinking, fighting, hoaring old king who nevertheless actually did! manage to hold everything together quite successfully. Also, I've noticed in all the sections set in the East with Denaris and the Duthraki, that MArtin is very much invoking the same sort of style and world as Conan, (and in fact doing it rather well).

A rather amusing fact from Martin's biography, is that when he first read lotr, apparently his first thought upon reading about the shire was "conan would go through here like a hurrican!" I do wonder if this is why he named his Barbarian character, ---- albeit a Barbarian with a rather softer side, Drogo, after Frodos' father laugh.


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