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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:28 pm 
Tripod King

Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:07 am
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Location: west-central Pennsylvanai
Howard also wrote a lot of poetry, though about the only poems published in his lifetime were some in "Weird Tales". He wrote a lot about the impermanence of life, and also---as in his fiction---favored the barbarian over the civilized person. There was one untitled poem he wrote which makes his opinion of those who think than the human condition is improving quite clear. (Among other places, it was printed in the first of the two recent collections of his best work: "The Best of Robert E. Howard: Crimson Shadows".) Written sometime in the 1920s or 1930s, it seems to be prophetic of the shock the civilized world received over 9/11, particularly in its final lines:

You have built a world of paper and wood,
Culture and cult and lies;
Has the cobra alterned beneath his hood,
Or the fire in the tiger's eyes?

You have turned from valley and hill and flood,
You have set yourselves apart,
Forgetting the earth that feeds the blood
And the talon that finds the heart.

You boast you have stilled the lustful call
Of the black ancestral ape,
But Life, the tigress that bore you all,
Has never changed her shape.

And a strange shape comes to your faery mead,
With a fixed black simian frown,
But you will not know and you will not heed
Till your towers come tumbling down.


Prophecy? Who knows?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:05 am 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:31 pm
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:shock: spooky.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:37 pm
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Coincidence. Towers have always metaphors for power, or wealth, elite status and hubris, not mention any combination of all those things. Think of the term 'ivory tower' or even the less impressive 'putting someone on a pedestal.' Physical height is equated with status, whether that status is deserved or self-proclaimed. The image-laden phrase 'towers come tumbling down' is just that: imagery used to invoke the idea of toppling someone in power, or of decay crumbling the once mighty. Or in the case of this poem in particular, imagery used to describe that Man, for all his boasting about being at the top of everything, will only realise once it's too late that he's only a part of a greater whole; we've created all the trappings of society and have removed ourselves from the natural--put ourselves on a pedestal, so to speak--and have forgotten that we could so very easily be knocked off that self-made pedestal all too easily.

In a way, The War of the Worlds serves as a similar reminder of that very point. But I don't see people drawing parallels between its attack and related fear & chaos and those of 9/11.

In any event, I'm not trying to be critical of Alland, here; I'm just trying to point out that when looking back from any traumatic historical event, it's easy to ascribe some 'prophetic' attributes to writings/speeches/what have you that occurred before said traumatic historical event.

As a side note, there was discussion after 9/11 that the film adaptation of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers might be retitled due to sensitivity about the WTC towers felled during the 9/11 attack. Rumours, of course, but it just goes to show how hyper-sensitive to the word 'tower' we have all become since those dark days.


Insert witty, yet philosophical remark here...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:19 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:31 pm
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:shock: Not so spooky.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:10 pm 
Tripod King

Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:07 am
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No offense taken, craigr. My tongue was in my cheek when I mentioned it. It was just too good to pass up.

Anyway, just to balance things for us westerners, Howard also foresaw the end of Islam with his poem "Silence Falls on Mecca's Walls", which was printed in the paperback book "Cthulhu: The Mythos and Kindred Horrors": a collection of stories and poems Howard wrote concerning the Cthulhu Mythos. (Note: Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and others among Lovecraft's fellow "Weird Tales" authors wrote their own additions to the lore of the Mythos, and Lovecraft gave his stamp of approval on them by including them in his own later tales. It was all one big happy family in those days.)

Silence Falls on Mecca's Walls


Silence falls on Mecca's walls
And true believers turn to stone;
A granite wind from out the East
Bears the rattle of bone on bone,
And to the harlot of the priest
Comes one no man has ever known.

The black stars fall on Mecca's walls,
The red stars gem the pallid night;
The yellow stars are hinged in grey
But Ammon-Hoteph's stars are white,
Who weaves a web to hold at bay
The castled king of Mekmet's light?

Darkness falls on Mecca's walls,
The cressets glimmer in the gloom,
Along the cornices and groins
The scorpion weaves his trail of doom,
A woman bares her pulsing loins
To One within a shadowy room.

The star-dust falls on Mecca's walls,
The bats' wings flash in Mekmet's face;
The lonely fanes rise black and stark,
What brought what Shape from what strange place,
Across the gulf of utter dark,
To span the void of cosmic space?

Silence falls on Mecca's walls
Like mist from some fiend-haunted fen.
Stars, shuttles in a demon's looms,
Weave over Mecca, dooms of men.
A woman laughs---and laughs again.

That's it. Lay on, craigr.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:22 am 
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8-[ Oh, great, I set myself up as some analytical genius, and then you throw that at me, a topic about which I'm woefully under-educated. Should have kept my mouth shut. Or my keyboard put away...

Seriously, wow, Howard had a gift for evoking strong imagery from only a few words! Also seriously, I'm not very familiar with his work, so this has all been very interesting & illuminating to me. Finally, still seriously, I really am undereducated about Islam (and other Near and Middle East stuff), as well as the Cthulu mythos, especially in the context of the posted poem. I do recognise some of the names, but I've long forgotten what little I knew about them.

You got me; I can't make any meaningful commentary on this one! :|

A question: what is the context of this poem, with its foretold end of Islam? I assume it's in the context of the Cthulu mythos alone, but I suspect that there are certainly anti-Islam people in this day and age who would latch onto this, ignoring such context and applying it as 'wishful thinking' on the real world. (I think you, Alland, were also alluding to that very notion, unless I misread your last post, or read too much into it.)

:-s I sure have a lot to say for someone who didn't think he had a lot to say about this, after all. Darn interesting philosphical discussions making me actually think once in a while... :wink:


Insert witty, yet philosophical remark here...


Last edited by craigr on Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:24 am 
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Oh, Lonesome Crow? Love your detailed responses to the last few posts here.

:lol:


Insert witty, yet philosophical remark here...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:57 am 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:00 pm
Posts: 2870
Location: Liverpool, UK
Hey Lonesome, I just donated a fiver. Will that help?


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:18 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 3365
Location: N.Humberside.UK
craigr wrote:
Oh, Lonesome Crow? Love your detailed responses to the last few posts here.

:lol:

Yes I'm sorry but poetry does little for me.
I only like two poems and they are The Raven by E. A. Poe and The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Loz wrote:
Hey Lonesome, I just donated a fiver. Will that help?

Um, Why are you asking me? Lee is the Moderator not me.
I have donated twice in the past, but this site has been neglected for so long now, you can't even get onto the title page anymore, if I click on the link in my favourites all I get is this message.
Quote:
DB function failed with error number 1146
Table 'mambo2sql.mos_session' doesn't exist SQL=SELECT session_id FROM mos_session WHERE session_id=MD5('f0eb4640226cfa8743d6e3c201ea45d4')
SQL =
SELECT session_id FROM mos_session WHERE session_id=MD5('f0eb4640226cfa8743d6e3c201ea45d4')


I've said for a few months now that when I've finished my Invasion I would be going to another site (a less dead one) so since the end of December I've been posting most of my stuff over on SciFiShock.com: Message Boards.
Sorry but I only come back here once in a while as an act of duty, this was the first forum I ever joined, but now the Captain has gone and the ship is sinking. :a009:
Sometime I will get around to posting the revised version of my Comic over on the 'Never Ending Forum'

I'm sorry if you've wasted your money Loz, Is it too late to get it back?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:03 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:00 pm
Posts: 2870
Location: Liverpool, UK
Oops. Oh well. I thought you had taken over for some reason. How is the forum still running if the main page isn't, I wonder?

I've had a lot of fun here over the years. Obviously more so in the early days. I actually only stuck with it because you wouldn't join anywhere else and now I find you have. Ha ha. You're my Internet buddy after all.
I should have donated money years ago. So I'm not too bothered.

If no one is maintaining this forum. It could crash at anytime right?

The never ending forum has changed its name to artist and writers showcase but its still on CBR Forums. It is one of the biggest forums in the world. So get posting. the amount of feedback you'll get will be phenomenal.


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:11 am 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 3365
Location: N.Humberside.UK
Loz wrote:
If no one is maintaining this forum. It could crash at anytime right?


Yes that was one of my biggest fears that the forum would stop working before I finished my comic.
About 8 months ago I tried to connect via the main page and my anti Virus program went "doink" and told me this site was infected, I told Lee and he said he'd run a scan of the site and found nothing. Then a couple of weeks later the main page went off-line and I've been entering the forum direct through an email hyperlink.

Thanks for the info on the name change I'll check it out. do you still visit there?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:36 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:00 pm
Posts: 2870
Location: Liverpool, UK
Lonesome Crow wrote:
Loz wrote:
If no one is maintaining this forum. It could crash at anytime right?


Yes that was one of my biggest fears that the forum would stop working before I finished my comic.
About 8 months ago I tried to connect via the main page and my anti Virus program went "doink" and told me this site was infected, I told Lee and he said he'd run a scan of the site and found nothing. Then a couple of weeks later the main page went off-line and I've been entering the forum direct through an email hyperlink.

Thanks for the info on the name change I'll check it out. do you still visit there?


Must be the power of your art keeping it alive here.

I don't visit as much as I did but only because I'm working on three plays at once. When all that calms down, I'll be back there and drawing some new stuff and posting it.

I still use the comic part to discuss comics I'm reading with others.

Do you know about esnips?


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:10 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:31 pm
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Location: N.Humberside.UK
Loz wrote:
Do you know about esnips?


8-[ Anything like Parsnips? 8-[


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:38 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:00 pm
Posts: 2870
Location: Liverpool, UK
http://www.esnips.com/HomeAction.ns

You can post images and music there in your own folders. I've got my art, my radio plays and my song demos on it.

People come and look randomly or you can invite. Could be another good outlet for your work :a028:


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:18 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:31 pm
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Location: N.Humberside.UK
So does it work like Photobucket? can you store pictures there and link them to other sites or do you have to visit esnips.com to view them?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:02 pm 
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Martian War Lord

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I think you have to view them there but you can invite people easy enough and you can make it so only invited peploe can look.


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:14 pm 
Tripod King

Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:07 am
Posts: 262
Location: west-central Pennsylvanai
Calm down, craigr; I was tongue-in-cheek again. Lovecraft's homemade Mythos assumed all human civilization would go down, not just the Islamic world. I'm not sure why Howard singled out Islam with his poem, unless he was commenting in a fantasy way on what---seen in the 1920s and 1930s---was apparently a stagnant culture. Although his fantasy work is what he's most famous for, his favorite genre to work in was historical adventure. Go back to the first page of this thread, and you'll see a number of collections of historical adventure, both Westerns and---more important to the current discussion---the wars between the Christian and Moslem worlds from the Dark Ages on. He was also a sports fan who wrote a fair number of boxing adventures, and dabbled in the detective field as well.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:40 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:31 pm
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Location: N.Humberside.UK
Loz wrote:
I think you have to view them there but you can invite people easy enough and you can make it so only invited people can look.

Thanks for the invite Loz, Great song :lol: Decca records say your contract is in the post. :mrgreen:


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