Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Moods of the Sea

Here is another poem unpublished during the lifetime of Clark Ashton Smith (CAS), and not available at The Eldritch Dark, so to begin with, the text itself:

How sad and melancholy is the sea
With that low murm'ring threnody it sings
Upon its strands, as if in memory
Of dead forgot, and disabled kings.

How restless is the sea, when billows rise
And race its bosom o'er unceasingly;
No peace within the ocean lies
From shore to shore, no quiet in the sea--

How angry is the sea when tempests last
And loud the rearing billows [          ] and roar
And sullenly the foam-tipped breakers crash
Upon the yellow sands and rock-strewn shore.

The brackets in line ten represent a space intentionally left blank by CAS, presumably with the intention of completing the poem at a later time.

"Moods of the Sea" is a straightforward poem, but I like the invocation of a unique mood in each stanza ("sad and melancholy", "restless", "angry"), even if those moods all have something of a dark aspect to them.

Poems like this one make me glad I'm taking the time to slowly read through CAS' entire poetic corpus.  CAS chose not to include this particular poem in any of the collections issued during his lifetime, and while it's certainly not a major poem, it is still powerful and evocative and well worth reading. 

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