Google Books is home to many a public domain poem. The image illustrating this article is from a poem called “Jack-o’-Lantern’s Story” and it is followed by another simply called “Halloween.” Please don’t confuse them with “Jack-O’-Lantern” by John Banister Tabb or “Halloween” by A.T. Frost. I’m also found of “Hallowe’en Happenings,” “A Halloween Memory” by Christopher Morley, “In October” by William Barnes Lower, “The Haunted House” by Thomas Hood and “Grim, King of the Ghosts; or, The Dance of Death” by Matthew Gregory Lewis.
Goodreads is offering Brian Rosenberger’s macabre collection Poems That Go Splat for free!
Frankenstein’s monster has inspired Edward Field to write several poems, including “The Return of Frankenstein.”
The Reader’s Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos is home to work like “Dark Paths to Arkham” by Ron Shiflet and Franklyn Searight’s humorous “Lovecraftian Cliff Notes” for “Cool Air,” “The Colour Out of Space” and “The Rats in the Walls.”
Michael Arnzen is best known around here for his amazing works of flash fiction, but he also dabbles in the world of verse. Amazon has quite the selection of his work available to read online for free. They also let you read “My Zoootch” and “The One Who Invented Trick Or Treat” from Shel Silverstein’s Every Thing On It.
Wikisource is a treasure trove of poetry perfect for an October evening. “The Pumpkin” is a wonderful ode by John Greenleaf Whittier while Emily Dickinson’s “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” is much less cheery. Both Emily Pauline Johnson’s “The Wolf” and Eugene Field’s “Seein’ Things” deal with fearful subjects, but only one is serious. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow must have loved the fall season, seeing as how he wrote two different poems called “Autumn.” The first was published in 1828 and the other in 1845. Those preferring scary poems will appreciate “The Phantom Ship,” “The Mother’s Ghost,” “Suspiria” and “The Skeleton in Armor.” I also recommend Robert Burns’ “Epitaph for James Smith,” William Cullen Bryant’s “The Strange Lady,” Charlotte Fiske Bates’ “At Hawthorne’s Grave,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Raven,” Emily Brontë’s “A Death-Scene” and Robert Browning’s “Mr. Sludge, ‘The Medium’.”