Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Dials

Here's another poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that was unpublished in his lifetime, and not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the complete text:

Thy gnomons, O Time, are many and multiform:
Ever and ever, on the path of the pursuing sun,
They trace in elusive shadow the irresolvable phantom of night.

This is among the shortest poems from CAS that I have read so far.  I know in later years CAS wrote verse in the haiku form, so "The Dials" is an interesting indication that short form poetry was already of interest to him early in his career.

Short though it is, I admire the way the text conveys the motion of the sun and the consequent changing shadow patterns of the gnomons.  In that sense, "The Dials" does possess the haiku-like character of capturing a fleeting thought or an impression of natural phenomenon.

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