Monday, 6 October 2014

A Play, An Acrostic And A Haiku

I want to compare Poul Anderson to both William Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll. Regular readers already know of Anderson's Shakespearen novel, A Midsummer Tempest. Anderson did not write any corresponding Alice-related novel. However, like both Shakespeare and Carroll, he did write poetically about mortality.

Shakespeare: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep."

Carroll: "Life, what is it but a dream?"

Anderson: see here.

Life, a dream or summer shadows, is celebrated in drama, an acrostic and a haiku. Before returning to Anderson's hard sf, let's appreciate the poetry.


  1. Hi, Paul!

    And in ORBIT UNLIMITED, we see Commissioner Svoboda referring to Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND. I think to the effect that it took a lot of running just to stay in place!

    And, of course, we see allusions to Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND in Poul Anderson's novel A CIRCUS OF HELLS. With the intelligent, self aware computer on Wayland being said by Flandry to being awoken from a dream like that of the Red King.


  2. Sean,
    Yes, and I had forgotten those references!

  3. According to Bryan Talbot, "After Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll is the most quoted writer in the English language." And, of course, Anderson quotes both.

    1. Hi, Paul!

      I agree with both points, the one made by Mr. Talbot and by you. And Poul Anderson also frequently quotes or alludes to the works of Rudyard Kipling.