Friday, September 20, 2019


Read "Antepast" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was titled "Anticipation" when originally published in Ebony and Crystal (1922).  Despite the change in title, only one line (the second) was updated for the later publication in Selected Poems (1971).

Despite the focus on death, this poem has a seductive power built upon exquisite phrasing ("silver evening on the desert's rim") and a lush sense of calm and the expectation of life's final reward.  For so many, the experience of death is unlikely to be easy or tranquil, and yet contemplating the other side of the journey is not without some reassurance.  Few poets could express such sentiments with the skill exhibited in these lines from Clark Ashton Smith.

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