A Dash of Horror for World Poetry Day

Today is World Poetry Day! Some of my earliest writing was poetry. I mean very early — elementary school, middle school, etc. I have notebooks at my parent’s house with all of my emotions in verse. Some are good. Most aren’t. But poetry was always a nice way for me to write out anything weird or crazy I was feeling, in a way that was less concrete than an essay or a diary entry. Other times, it was a way for me to capture a sight, moment, or memory in a different way.

I don’t write as much poetry as I used to, but when I do, it’s more of the snapshots of memories, or something altogether made up — a short story in verse. I still think my strength is in prose, but sometimes, the best way to tell the story I want to tell is in metered verse.

Sadly, I don’t read as much poetry as I could. I read quickly, and as such, it’s hard for me to slow down and really absorb the gravitas of the verses. Other times, the poems are so over my head that, while they sound nice, I don’t really get them. Most of the time, I admire a poem more than I feel it.

Then I discovered horror poetry.

I didn’t discover horror poetry until late — as in, last year. I’d read bleak poetry and dark poetry before, but never a collection marketed as poems meant to scare you. I’m glad I found it, though, because I found myself connecting with horror poetry in ways I hadn’t connected with other poems before.

While some deal with monsters, many still focus on the terrifying things we feel or experience in real life. I think I connect with this more than other forms of verse because I’m drawn to extremes, especially when describing experiences. My own struggles with anxiety fuel both my work and what I like to read or watch. While non-horror poems cover that, the horror poetry I’ve read cover it with a harshness, a viscerality (I hope that’s a word), and a sense of fright that I haven’t encountered elsewhere — but one I find myself able to connect with deeply, even if that connection is a shared feeling of fear.

I also enjoy horror poetry that tells stories, be they fiction or nonfiction. I like seeing the unique way that poetry can tell a classic horror tale, in ways that give anything from serial killers to demonic possession to vampires a refreshing twist.

For World Poetry Day, I highly recommend you check out some of the horror poetry collections below:

Breathe. Breathe. — a collection of poetry and short stories from Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi.

The Devil’s Dreamland — a series of poems that chronicle the life, death, and murders of H.H. Holmes; from Sara Tantlinger.

How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend — another blend of poems and short stories, interspersed with one another; by Linda Addison.

What are some of your favorite horror poetry collections?

Verse: Winter Has Come Through Again

The solstice is upon us. I usually like winter for about one month. I enjoy a few snowstorms and the look of bare branches. But then, around the middle of January, I start to be over it.

Unfortunately, winter lasts well into March around here.

Today was a bleak day that was too warm for snow. The first two lines of the poem below went through my head. I came up with the rest just now. Happy Solstice, everyone — even if the weather’s a bit bleak.

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Winter Has Come Through Again

Looks like snow
But feels like rain
Winter has
Come through again

Sleet on concrete
Blackened branch
A piercing gust
That makes you blanche

Streetlamps glow
Beneath the cold
The weather seeps
Into your soul

Skin is tired
Bones are drained
Winter has
Come through again

12.20.18

A Halloween Poem

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I favor the macabre most days out of the year, but Halloween is when we can go all out (and when it’s acceptable for me to wear my skeleton jewelry to the office). Last year, I wrote a very short poem to commemorate my favorite holiday. I hope you all have a wonderful day, however you celebrate it.

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A Halloween Poem

At last, it’s here!
The time of year
When all we fear
Is held so dear.

10.31.16

Psst — don’t forget that The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales is on sale for $1 — but only until midnight tonight!

Verse: September 1st

Happy September, everyone! September puts fall on the brain, even as the remnants of summer stick around for a while after Labor Day. Around here, September sees hot days but cooler nights — a sign of the season to come. Autumn is tied with spring for my favorite season. I love the changing leaves, cooking dishes with pumpkin, going to the Renaissance Fair, and of course, Halloween.

I wrote a quick verse about the first of September, which is below. I hope you all have a good weekend, month, and season!

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In summer’s warmth, the month of August
Seemed to disappear.
September rolls around the bend
To bring a cooler year.

9.1.17

Verse: Ocean Blue

Today is the 7th anniversary of meeting my one true love. To celebrate, we went to Miami Beach. Below is a quick poem I wrote for him. Happy Monday, everyone.

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I look across the ocean
Am blinded by the blue
I turn away, my heart grows full
Upon the sight of you.