Monday, August 12, 2019

Give Me Your Lips

Read "Give Me Your Lips" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was unpublished in his lifetime, and is quite a bit more erotic than his standard fare.

Something that caught my attention right away is the repeated use of the words "fire" (used four times) and "wine" (used five times).  Those words anchor a couple of key passages in each of the two stanzas.  In the first stanza, we have:

Shall magically melt to wine and fire
To wine beyond the wine of earthly hours
To fire
More than the fire of heavens many-starred.

And the second stanza contains a linked passage:

Not one, nor all of these,
Shall take away the taste of fire and wine
Your lips have left on mine.

That's one heck of a kiss!  CAS really leverages strong associations provided by the heat of flames and the intoxication of alcohol to lend this poem a delirious nature.  It's not one of his greatest verses, but has a certain raw power that appeals all the same.

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