Entry updated 23 August 2020. Tagged: Author.
(1886-1973) US amateur astronomer and poet, a longtime contributor to Sky and Telescope magazine who is sometimes noted for his minor contributions to the field of astronomy. He merits a modicum of attention as the first poet (see Poetry) to have his works appear in an SF Magazine, as editor Hugo Gernsback published nineteen of his poems in Amazing Stories and Amazing Stories Quarterly between 1926 and 1929. Some of these poems had previously appeared in his collection Whimsical Rimes, Made by Leland S. Copeland (coll 1921). Many poems in that book and in Gernsback's magazines address astronomical topics with rhetorical flourishes and personifications, making them clearly relevant to sf; in "Planet Neptune to Mother Sun" (in Whimsical Rimes above), for example, the planet Neptune (see Outer Planets), referencing the outdated notion that the planets had been expelled from the Sun, recalls its ancient departure and mournfully addresses its now-distant parent, currently more attentive to the closer planets Mars and Earth. Other Copeland poems hearken back in elevated terms to Earth's, and humanity's, distant past, such as "Thus Spoke Old Ocean" (in Whimsical Rimes above). Contemporary readers may regard his poems as stilted and old-fashioned, but his significance as a pioneering figure in the field of sf poetry should nonetheless be acknowledged. [GW]
Leland Stanford Copeland
born Russell, Kansas: 12 July 1886
died California: November 1973
- Whimsical Rimes, by Leland S. Copeland (Santa Barbara, California: Sunflower Press, 1921) [hb/nonpictorial]
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