Hoag, Jonathan E[than]


Hoag, Jonathan E[than]
   (1831–1927)
   Poet living in and around Troy, N.Y., who entered amateur journalism late in life. HPL wrote birthday poems to him from 1918 to 1927; they presumably corresponded, but no letters have surfaced. Hoag’s descriptions of the Catskill Mountains may have contributed to the topographical atmosphere of “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” and “The Lurking Fear,” set there. HPL compiled and wrote an introduction to Hoag’s Poetical Works (privately printed, 1923); it constituted the first appearance of a work by HPL in hardcover. HPL, Samuel Loveman, and James F.Morton revised some of Hoag’s poetry in the process of editing the volume. The book was funded by Hoag (not by HPL, as has sometimes been asserted). The poems “Death” ( Silver Clarion,November 1918) and “To the American Flag” are included in the book; they were later attributed to HPL (first by Rheinhart Kleiner, who reprinted the poems in the Californian, Summer 1937), but seem clearly to be Hoag’s; possibly HPL revised them. HPL wrote an elegy, “Ave atque Vale” ( Tryout,December 1927), at Hoag’s death. Hoag may have been a partial inspiration for the character Zadok Allen in “The Shadow over Innsmouth,” whose life-dates exactly match Hoag’s.

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