Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Wind-Threnody

Read "The Wind-Threnody" at The Eldritch Dark:

This is a poem by Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that remained unpublished in his lifetime.  For me as a reader, I'm surprised that CAS did not favor this poem enough to include it in any of the several collections issued with his direct involvement.  

This poem provides a compelling interweaving of visual and auditory elements.  The final stanza is particularly powerful:

The music grows and swells amain,
A grand, full-volumed melody,
Sad, sorrowful inexpressibly,
And laden with secret, world-old pain--
Nature's eternal threnody.

Throughout the poem, CAS uses adjectives like "plaintive", "mournful", and "sorrowful" which set an obvious tone, and then in the last lines he gives us "secret, world-old pain-- / Nature's eternal threnody".  So on the surface, this is a poem about the end of day accompanied by wind song, but with that very last line CAS expands the theme to something more all-encompassing.  

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