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The City of Dreadful Night   By: (1834-1882)

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The City of Dreadful Night by James Thomson is a haunting and powerful collection of poems that takes readers on a journey through the darkest corners of the human psyche. This book is a reflection on the enduring nature of despair and the inherent sense of despair that plagues our existence.

Thomson's poetic voice is eloquent and evocative, as he skillfully crafts vivid imagery that brings the desolate city to life. Through his astute observations and introspective musings, he captures the essence of human suffering and the overwhelming feeling of being lost and disconnected from the world. The author's ability to convey such deep emotions with his words is nothing short of remarkable.

The City of Dreadful Night delves into themes of existentialism and nihilism, offering a stark portrayal of a world devoid of hope or meaning. Thomson grapples with our mortality and the futile search for purpose in a world that often feels cold and indifferent. The depth and complexity of these reflections make for a thought-provoking read that lingers in the reader's mind long after the final poem.

One of the strengths of this collection lies in Thomson's use of vivid descriptions and powerful metaphors. He creates a haunting atmosphere that permeates each poem, enveloping the reader in a sense of foreboding. The imagery serves as a constant reminder of the darkness that resides within us all, and the haunting beauty that can be found even in the bleakest of landscapes.

While some may find the overall tone of the book relentlessly somber, it is precisely this unflinching exploration of the human condition that makes The City of Dreadful Night so compelling. Thomson's raw and unfiltered honesty is both devastating and strangely captivating, forcing readers to confront their own fears and contemplate the true nature of existence.

In conclusion, The City of Dreadful Night is a mesmerizing collection that delves deep into the recesses of the human soul. James Thomson's poignant and introspective verses offer a stark and captivating view of the world, inviting readers to confront their own fears and contemplate the nature of existence. This book is not for the faint of heart, but for those willing to embark on a journey into the depths of despair, it is a haunting and unforgettable experience.

First Page:


By James Thomson

Per me si va nella citta dolente.


Poi di tanto adoprar, di tanti moti D'ogni celeste, ogni terrena cosa, Girando senza posa, Per tornar sempre la donde son mosse; Uso alcuno, alcun frutto Indovinar non so.

Sola nel mondo eterna, a cui si volve Ogni creata cosa, In te, morte, si posa Nostra ignuda natura; Lieta no, ma sicura Dell' antico dolor . . . Pero ch' esser beato Nega ai mortali e nega a' morti il fato.



Lo, thus, as prostrate, "In the dust I write My heart's deep languor and my soul's sad tears." Yet why evoke the spectres of black night To blot the sunshine of exultant years? Why disinter dead faith from mouldering hidden? 5 Why break the seals of mute despair unbidden, And wail life's discords into careless ears?

Because a cold rage seizes one at whiles To show the bitter old and wrinkled truth Stripped naked of all vesture that beguiles, 10 False dreams, false hopes, false masks and modes of youth; Because it gives some sense of power and passion In helpless innocence to try to fashion Our woe in living words howe'er uncouth... Continue reading book >>

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