Much as I adore Lovecraft’s fiction, I’ve never been a fan of his poetry. That said, I’m not exactly a fan of poetry regardless of who wrote it, so I’m not singling Lovecraft out as much as I’m admitting my long held reluctance and resistance to the literary form as a whole. There’s something about the idea of would-be poets trying to convey their self-delusional suffering and “superior” intellectualism through over dramatised verse that they’ve convinced a gullible world was plucked word by weighted word from their tarnished, thrice damned souls that just seems, well, a bit pretentious, egocentric and narcissistic.
However, having spent a few hours with I Notturni Di Yuoggoth I might be forced to concede that I was mistaken. Not about poetry as a whole, but about Lovecraft’s contributions to it. Read by Andrew Leman and accompanied on acoustic guitar by Fabio Frizzi, these brief fictions take on a chilling, unnerving power and their themes and meaning take on all new manner of new patterns as they drift through, and into, your imagination. Eclipsing the unimaginable gap between séance and beat poetry, Leman’s emotive narration is amplified by Frizzi’s beguiling, slightly surreal compositions which allow Lovecraft’s verse to take the shape it was always meant to. I understand. At long last, I understand… Tim Cundle