As a further word of introduction, it should be mentioned that as one of this century’s most prolific and influential authors of fiction, it comes as no surprise to find Ron has left us a significant collection of verse. After all, as a leading light of popular literature through the 1930s, he was nothing if not versatile. In addition to the reshaping of science fiction and fantasy with such perennial classics as Fear and Final Blackout, L. Ron Hubbard or one of his many pen names appeared on mysteries, westerns, aerial adventures, Far-Eastern thrillers and high-sea intrigue. With the adaptation of his work for the screen, in 1937, he was further author of such Hollywood serials as The Secret of Treasure Island and The Mysterious Pilot. While in the 1980s, his internationally bestselling Battlefield Earth and Mission Earth broke still new ground. Finally, as award-winning author-critic Catherine L. Moore declared, there is also this: When we speak of Ron’s prose we are actually speaking of work that is quite akin to what distinguishes the poet, “The skill to do more, with the will to refrain.”

Yet there is another factor to consider when discussing the poems of L. Ron Hubbard, and that involves his greater trail of research through the 1930s and 1940s and, in particular, his 1931 experimentation relating to the ways in which the human mind recognizes poetry. Such research was, of course, part of Ron’s larger search for a definitive explanation of all human creativity -- a search that ultimately led to the breakthroughs of Dianetics and Scientology. But as borne out through the pages to follow, poetry, in and of itself, remained a lifelong fascination.

“My own verse,” Ron once remarked, “is usually free verse. The freer the better,” and, in fact, the majority of titles reprinted here are neither of structured meter nor rhyme. Yet considering the scope of his fifty-year output, as well as the spirit in which he wrote, including both rhymed ballads and sonnets, free verse would seem an appropriate description for all he had to say as a poet and a lyricist.

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