Poetry Corner – The Kraken

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

An inspiration for Lovecraft’s Cthulhu? Discuss.cthulhu


  1. Comment by Nostreculsus:

    Not true.

    I believe that the researches of Professor Angell and the parallel investigations of Inspector Legasse established that both works have a common cause. Namely, that the psyche of some great sleeping oceanic monstrosity can, when the stars are right, touch the thoughts of certain sensitive individuals and even invade their dreams. Artists such as Tennyson or Lovecraft are often attuned to these vibrations but there are primitive or occult groups also responsive to the nightmares of Cthulhu, the great Kraken, who will eventually rise to cause universal madness.

    Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph’nglui Mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

    That’s odd. I dozed off for a moment there and seem to have typed this gibberish in a trance. Now where is that edit button?

  2. Comment by joetexx:

    Cool. What’s the title of the picture, and the painter?

  3. Comment by Xena Catolica:

    Sir, after lurking for several years, I’ve registered to let you know that tomorrow, 14 February, your fiction will be mentioned in a blog post I wrote at The B-Movie Catechism.
    Dejah Thoris and St. Augustine both appear, so you’re in good company. I am a guest poster there and the mad genius behind the blog, Eegah, is entirely innocent of my interpretive excesses.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I hope the mention will reflect glory on the Space Princess Movement, which at the moment consists of me and a no-doubt embarrassed-by-now Mr Willet, which is poised (poised I say!) to bore the literary world by storm! I mean, to revolutionize. It was the Mundane SF movement which bored the literary world by storm.

  4. Comment by Raphael:

    That connection hadn’t occurred to me before, but to me it seems likely. I’ve always thought Edgar Allen Poe’s “Dream-Land” must have been the main inspiration behind THE DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH. I muse as much here:


    Lin Carter says that Lovecraft fancied himself quite a poet, I believe…

  5. Comment by fabulous_mrs_f:

    I can’t say if it inspired Lovecraft, but it certainly is a poem that could inspire both the artistic and literary. Also, it’s one of my favorites.

  6. Comment by deiseach:

    Mr. Wright, as today is both Friday and you are a famous SF-author and co-progenitor of the New Space Princess Movement, may I ask your opinion on the meteor in Russia which, I must admit, is a bit scary?

    When I saw the videos, I thought at first these were scenes from a movie, but no – it really happened!

    First the Pope’s abdication setting all the talk about the prophecy of St. Malachy going again, with the claim that the next pope will be ‘Petrus Romanus’ and the last one, and now the Star Wormwood falling to earth… eek!

    • Comment by John Hutchins:

      I have heard, and one can verify on some translation sites, that Chernobyl translates to Wormwood; though apparently that may not be 100% accurate as the plant that is commonly called Wormwood in English is slightly different from the one called Chernobyl in Russian, though they are close relatives. If Revelation is referring to reactor meltdowns, or that particular meltdown, or a meteor, or something else entirely is a matter of speculation.

      Betting sites have Cardinal Peter Turkson as being one of the favorites or the favorite depending on the site, and not for reasons related to the prophecy. At 64 he could easily be one of the longer serving Popes if elected. Other “Peter”s that are favored to a lesser extent are Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, Brazil (63), who studied and worked in the Vatican for a long time, and Peter Erdo, Hungary (60), I think there might be some more with middle names deriving from Peter.

      Most likely the prophecy is not real though so I wouldn’t worry unless Rome gets nuked or something, or any of the these other cities; my bets are on Seven Hills, Ohio or Richmond, Virginia as being the city referred to in that claimed prophecy, though Nixa, Missouri comes close.

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