Sunday, July 22, 2018

Background for this blog

Men pity me for the scant gold I bring:
Unguessed within my heart the solar glare
On monstrous gems that lit my journeying.

From Desert Dweller by Clark Ashton Smith

What is this?

This blog is a record of my reactions to and thoughts on the poems of Clark Ashton Smith (CAS), the late Californian artist best know for his connections to the Weird Tales circle of writers most active in the 1930's.

My intention is to read all of his poems in the chronological order established in the three-volume collection issued by the Hippocampus Press between 2007 and 2008:

I am not a literary scholar, and I am less interested in technical aspects of CAS' poetry than I am in understanding what the author intended to convey to his readers, in terms of imagery, philosophy, etc.

While the poetical works of CAS have not attracted as much critical attention as his fiction, I'll be reading such commentary as there is as I go along, and reviewing the several collections of his letters that have been published as well.

Although I will be reading the Hippocampus Press edition noted above, those without access to those volumes can access the full text of each poem via Boyd Pearson's excellent Eldritch Dark website:

Comments are welcome, but please be thoughtful and respectful.


This blog is dedicated to the memory of August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, who got the ball rolling by preserving CAS' writings (including his poetry!) and ensuring that his words would not be forgotten.


  1. Love your blog, and hope to be back."Desert Dweller" has been a personal favorite for many years.

  2. Thanks for your comment. "Desert Dweller" is probably my all-time favorite poem, and in many ways my first reading of it is what launched me on this journey to read through all of CAS' poetical works.