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The Hauntingly Beautiful Poetry of Conrad Aiken

There are quite a few lovely vampire poems that have been penned, but one of my (many) favorites is Conrad Aiken’s The Vampire. This chilling and bloody poem captures both the allure and horror of the vampire. Published in 1914, The Vampire is a poem about a remarkably beautiful vampiress who captures the hearts of men and eventually leads them to their doom. I adore this poem and highly recommend it to the poetry lovers amongst us. A haunting preview is below:

She rose among us where we lay.
She wept, we put our work away.
She chilled our laughter, stilled our play;
And spread a silence there.
And darkness shot across the sky,
And once, and twice, we heard her cry;
And saw her lift white hands on high
And toss her troubled hair.

What shape was this who came to us,
With basilisk eyes so ominous,
With mouth so sweet, so poisonous,
And tortured hands so pale?
We saw her wavering to and fro,
Through dark and wind we saw her go;
Yet what her name was did not know;
And felt our spirits fail.

We tried to turn away; but still
Above we heard her sorrow thrill;
And those that slept, they dreamed of ill
And dreadful things:
Of skies grown red with rending flames
And shuddering hills that cracked their frames;
Of twilights foul with wings;

And skeletons dancing to a tune;
And cries of children stifled soon;
And over all a blood-red moon
A dull and nightmare size.
They woke, and sought to go their ways,
Yet everywhere they met her gaze,
Her fixed and burning eyes.

Read the second half of The Vampire here. It is most definitely worth a read.

Do you enjoy poetry about vampires? What are your thoughts on Conrad Aiken’s The Vampire?

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).

5 replies on “The Hauntingly Beautiful Poetry of Conrad Aiken”

It is a very descriptive poem which sums up my thoughts of a female vampire and her seductiveness along with terror. I like the way the men are affected whether they fall for her or not. Red and blood are frequently used which is a nice reminder that
we are dealing with a vampiress and not a pretty little fairy. Very good!

the ultimate femme fatale in the ultimate terror.however i prefer the poem:the vampire(strigoiul)
by Vasile Alecsandri 1886. the lovers and the vampire force.

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