Sunday, November 10, 2019

In Alexandria

Read "In Alexandria" at The Eldritch Dark:

Once again, we have a poem penned by Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that he chose to attribute to one of his pseudonyms, Christophe des Laurières.  

I presume that the title refers to Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, which imbues the ancient city of Alexandria with characteristics sensual and languid, at least when compared to the somber and sensible city of Rome.  The threesome described in the poem may not be sourced directly from the events of Shakespeare's play, but nonetheless seems likely to have been inspired by it.

This is probably the most erotic poem by CAS that I have read so far, well in keeping with the works he chose to attribute to Christophe des Laurières.  But it also has a hint of the supernatural anchored by the very last line: "Deeper than death, we died and lived anew."

This combination of elements makes "In Alexandria" stand out from the other Christophe des Laurières poems, by presenting a more complex picture of eroticism that is quite thought-provoking.

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