Tuesday, June 14, 2011

For the Cultured Werewolf

There will be a full moon out tonight, so it's the perfect time to write a blog entry that I've been planning for a while. A few weeks ago, for whatever reason, this poem popped into my head:
Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright. 

This is what Wolfsbane looks like. As pretty as this plant is, it's very poisonous. Large doses can kill a person instantly, although death usually takes two to six hours. It has even been used on the ends of poison arrows! Funny enough, Wolfsbane has the reputation for both killing werewolves and inducing them with the werewolf condition! So I guess it supplies whatever need you have in a werewolf story. :)

Anyway, back to the poem. Do you guys recognize it? It's from the movie "The Wolfman" which came out in 1941. The movie stars Lon Chaney Jr. as the unfortunate Larry Talbot who turns into the wolfman. Claude Rains is also in this as is Bela Lugosi, who plays a character named Bela, believe it or not! Curt Siodmak, the screenwriter behind The Wolfman is the person who wrote this poem. I linked Curt's name to his Wikipedia page, because he had a fascinating life that is worth reading about.

I found a great Wolfman video clip someone put together and posted on YouTube. There's some modern music here, and they changed a few scenes around. I think it's put together really nicely. Anyway, right in the beginning of this, you can hear the poem being recited.

The poem also makes an appearance at the end of the song "Howl" by Florence and the Machine. I found a nice Youtube clip showing the lyrics to this song as she sings them. As cool as Florence is, I chose a video without her in it. I wanted a video with a focus on the lyrics because they're beautiful in their way. I think this could be the next werewolf anthem! Assuming there ever was one...


  1. Great post! Love the old Wolf man movie and gardening. Perfect post for me!

    Oh,and thanks for the video link...nice bonus! :)


  2. Classic wolfman clip that sounds great to Darkside of the moon.

  3. The Frog Queen ~ Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed this. I'm into gardening too, so I like reading about the history of different plants. After learning about Wolfsbane, I don't think I'd want to get near it!

    Copyboy ~ I think a lot of things go well with Darkside of the Moon. Movie theaters around here are always showing The Wizard of Oz set to that music. Yeah, there were a bunch of classic scenes in that YouTube clip. I thought the music those scenes were set to was just perfect!

  4. Very awesome post that got me in to the full moon spirit Justine! :)

  5. L ~ Glad to hear it! I was actually able to see the moon still looking pretty full tonight, but last night it was completely hidden by clouds. I'm not sure if you knew this, but last night we had not only a full moon, but a moon eclipse!

    Oh, and your print has been shipped. So you should have that any time now!

  6. I've never been much of a Florence & The Machine fan, I'm just not a big fan of her style of singing, she seems to slurr her words a lot but that is a very awesome song! I love the line 'The fabric of your flesh, pure as a wedding dress'

    Nice post! My all time favourite werewolf movie has to be Ginger Snaps! I can watch that movie over and over and over again.. I just love it! Infact.. You've given me a hankering for a werewolf movie so I think I'm gunna stick it on now and have some lunch! xxx

  7. VainGlorySinner ~ I'm glad you liked that song! I agree, her words aren't the crispest. That's probably another reason why I used a video that showed just the lyrics. Yeah, wasn't that a great line? It's a very descriptive song!

    I wasn't familiar with Ginger Snaps, so I had to google it. That's a pretty clever movie title. :) I just watched the movie's trailer and it looked pretty suspenseful. It's definitely a new take on werewolf movies. My favorite werewolf film has to be An American Werewolf in Paris. I like movies that manage to be both funny and scary at the same time. Well, I'm not sure if Ginger Snaps is the most appetizing movie to eat lunch with, but have fun! :)

  8. I had no idea that wolfsbane was poisonous! Loved the song and the old Wolf Man was one of my fav old movies!

    Have a fab weekend!


  9. LuLu ~ Yeah, Wolfsbane looks too pretty to be poisonous, doesn't it? It's good to know which plants to watch out for!

    I loved the "Howl" song too! I'm not too familiar with Florence and the Machine, but I feel inspired to listen to more of her music now.

    "The Wolfman" is one of my favorite old movies too. It's a real classic!

    I wish you a great weekend as well. :)

  10. A great post!!! I always loved Lon Chaney's movies.

  11. Thanks Jeanne! Yeah, Lon Chaney Jr. is great. He's convincingly mopey as a cursed man in this movie!

  12. I love that poem and song so much!
    Florence's album and The Wolf Man on DVD are both on my wish list. :)

  13. Holly ~ Me too! Now, I'm curious to hear more of Florence's music. This song has really drilled its way into my head. It's amazing how many places the poem has turned up in movies and other songs. I actually had quite a few choices of songs to include in this post, but I liked this one the best!