Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Secret Love

Read "Secret Love" at The Eldritch Dark:


Once again, we have a poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) presented as the product of one of his pseudonyms, Christophe des Laurières.  In contrast to other poems of romance by CAS that I have read in the last few days, this one is really getting back on track to what he does best, by rendering an unconventional love steeped in darkness and mystery.

This sonnet has several interesting technical aspects, in evidence right from the opening lines:

Hung round with heavy silence fold on fold,
Thy love, within my veiled and votive heart,

The first line has a couple of internal rhymes built on the letters "h" and "f", and the technique is continued into the second line where the letter "v" anchors the rhyme.  This is an effective method of getting the reader into the flow of the language right from the start, and something that CAS does particularly well.

The other technique that catches my attention is the extended metaphor that makes up the entire work, that of a love "like a darkling Venus" hidden away in a remote and forgotten city out of mythic memory.  This is powerful stuff.

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