The Prophets' Paradise

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The Prophets' Paradise is a sequence of eerie prose poems forming an open-ended short story published by Robert W. Chambers in his short story collection The King in Yellow (1895). The sequence employs repetition of phrases and internal symmetry, beginning and ending with a similar or even the same phrase, and carrying it on almost to a "palindrome".

The style of the prose poems reflects the quotation from the fictional play The King in Yellow that introduces the story "The Mask". The title of the sequence and the length and rhyming pattern of the opening quatrain (AABA) are based upon Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.


The piece opens with the poem:

"If but the Vine and Love Abjuring Band
Are in the Prophets' Paradise to stand,
Alack, I doubt the Prophets' Paradise,
Were empty as the hollow of one's hand."

  • The Studio.
  • The Phantom.
  • The Sacrifice.
  • Destiny.
  • The Throng.
  • The Jester.
  • The Green Room.
  • The Love Test.

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