Lovecraft’s ‘Evening Star’ and other Fungi from Yuggoth

[Selected Sonnets in the Fungi from Yuggoth cycle]. [Cover title:] Poems / Lovecraft.

[N.p., Providence and North Montpelier, Vermont: n.d., ca. 1933].

Price: $10,000.00

About the item

11 sonnets: five printed poems (two in proof) and six typescript leaves, signed in type (“H. P. Lovecraft” or “Howard P. Lovecraft”, the second without such signature). 1 vols. 4to and smaller. Lovecraft’s ‘Evening Star’ and other Fungi from Yuggoth. Stapled in pink wrapper titled in black ink. A few chips and soilmarks, but fine. See Fungi from Yuggoth, An Annotated Edition. Edited by David E. Schultz (Hippocampus Press, 2017).

Item #346297

A nice private compilation of poems by H. P. Lovecraft, eleven sonnets in the Fungi from Yuggoth cycle, including his celebrated “Evening Star”, “The Port”, and “Antarktos”. The eleven poems are stapled in a pink wrapper with manuscript title in black ink “Poems / Lovecraft / See also poem ‘Revelation’ in correspondence sheets,” and signed Walter J. Coates, publisher of Driftwind, in which many Lovecraft works were printed. Comprising:
1) a leaf of Driftwind Press letterhead with three newsprint clippings mounted (“The Well,” “Night-Gaunts,” and “The Dweller,” all published in The Providence Journal in the spring of 1930.
2) “The Port,” typescript (ribbon), “Ten miles from Arkham I had struck the trail...”, first published in Driftwind, Nov. 1930.
3) “XV. ANTARKTOS,” typescript (ribbon), first published in Weird Tales, Nov. 1930.
4) “The Canal” and “The Gardens of Yin,” proofs, headed Driftwind, p. 34, on the verso of a half sheet of Driftwind letterhead, inscribed and signed at bottom “March issue, 1932 / Walter J. Coates.”
5) “Evening Star,” typescript (ribbon), with pencil note at top “This is to be used in ‘Driftwind’”. It was not, and was published in Pioneer, Autumn 1932.
6) “Mirage,” typed manuscript (ribbon), first published in Weird Tales Feb./Mar. 1931. With note at foot: Set to music by Harold Farness [i.e., Farnese] of the Los Angeles Inst of Music. [Farnese set two sonnets to music in the summer of 1932].
6) “Continuity,” typescript (ribbon), first published in Causerie Feb 1936.
7) “Hesperia,” typescript (ribbon), Weird Tales Oct. 1930, with stapled note in an editor’s hand querying a word, and a note in another hand confirming the difference is present in its publication in Weird Tales.
Lovecraft wrote the sonnets in the Fungi from Yuggoth cycle in a remarkable burst of creativity from 27 December 1929 to 4 January 1930. He began publishing them in newspapers and the amateur press almost immediately, and then in Weird Tales; he did not always keep track of where he had submitted the poems. The sonnets were not published in collected form during Lovecraft’s lifetime though they did circulate in typescript (his friend Clark Ashton Smith had an early typescript of 33 poems); a mimeograph edition (of 33 poems) was published in 1943, in the same year that Arkham House published the complete series of 36 in Beyond the Wall of Sleep. David E. Schultz gives a detailed discussion of the circulation of the typescripts and the early publication history.
Walter Coates (1880-1941) was a friend and correspondent of Lovecraft’s, and published in all ten of the Fungi from Yuggoth in Driftwind, which Coates founded in 1926 to publish contemporary poetry and prose (from Vermont and elsewhere), and to reprint Vermont literature. Coates edited and published Driftwind for fifteen years, and Paul Cook printed In Memoriam Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1941) at the Driftwind Press.