Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Eternal Snows

Read "The Eternal Snows" at The Eldritch Dark:

Among other things, this poem has taught me that "hieroglyphed" is a valid transitive verb, which I never knew up until this reading.  The sentence in which that word features is worth repeating:

Pure they lie,
Beyond all earthly dreams of purity,
And hieroglyphed with Beauty's mystic sign.

One can vividly imagine the scarred and fissured peaks that Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) is describing in this sonnet, and the choice of that word "hieroglyphed" really adds a humanized element of antiquity and mystery that makes this abstract nature study easier for the reader to embrace.

CAS enhances that approach in the poem's closing lines, where the narrator comes to the fore:

Thou art to me as some Ideal sublime,
That from its eminence unwon and pure
Speaks with the voice of what my soul might be.

There is a crystalline purity to that final expression, and one really hears the voice of a poet shining through.

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