Vampire Women

Eight Pen Portraits, from Life

(Hokku by Aleister Crowley as Kwaw Li Ya)

Vanity Fair, July 1915, Vol. 4 No. 5, p 33

 

Everybody seems to be talking, or writing, about vampires and vampire women. The Romans started the fad, of course. No fluttering bat in Rome but suggested some fascinating lady to the best selling poets and romancers of the time. More lately, Kipling and Burne-Jones have helped the bat-lady myth along. Bram Stoker has now done his share, and so has the Baroness Von Raube. Everybody seems to have one on his calling list. Reader, have you, perhaps, a little vampire in your home? Vanity Fair has asked eight of the greatest vampire specialists in America to make careful portraits—from life, of course—of the worst (but most diabolically alluring) ladies in the world. Accompanying them are a series of Hokku by Kwaw Li Ya, the Chinese poet. The Hokku is an interesting verse form, which is very popular in China and Japan. It should consist of seventeen syllables; an epigram; a dash of alliteration, and an attempt to convey a mood, by suggestion rather than by recision of phrasing. We shall say more of the Hokku in our next issue!

 

MAY WILSON PRESTON’S VAMPIRE

Merrily masking

Blood-lust, Lelia lures me,

Glad to the graveyard!

 

VAMPIRE GIRL BY W. M. BERGER

Subtle, a siren;

Sly, Satanic assassin,

Smile me to slumber!

 

ETHEL PLUMMER’S DANGER-GIRL

Girl of the gutter!

Gross, unkempt, you allure by

Links atavistic!

 

DJUNA BARNES’ VAMPIRE BABY

Belial-baby!

Mouths thus merry, maturing

Madden to murder

 

JOHN R. NEILL’S WINGED SIREN

Vania, Vampire—

Black bat’s wings are the crown of

Tyranny’s tempest!

 

MYRTLE HELD’S VENOMOUS CIRCE

Idle, capricious,

Vain. Come—curled and anointed—

Circe, to slay us!

 

REGINALD BIRCH’S LADY

Flavia! Philtres—

Brewed of bliss in the moonlight—

Gleam in your glances!

 

THELMA CUDLIPP’S LAUGHING FURY

Psyche, a Pagan

Perverse, poison o’ poppy!

Vow me a victim!

 

Index | Bernard Shaw on Self Effacement | Aleister Crowley: Mystic and Mountain Climber | Vampire Women | The Hokku—a New Verse Form | A Hindu at the Polo Grounds | Colloque Sentimental | With Muted Strings | The Prize Winners of the Hokku Contest | Three Little Prose Poems | The Hokku Winners | Six Little Poems in Prose | The Nonsense About Vers Libre | Three Great Hoaxes of the War | Anna of Havana | To a Brunette | Ratan Devi: Indian Singer | On the Management of Blondes | The Origin of the Game of Pirate Bridge | What’s Wrong with the Movies?