Monday, January 27, 2020

By the River

Read "By the River" at The Eldritch Dark:

Once again, we have a poem authored by Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that he attributed to his pseudonym Christophe des Laurières.  

For CAS, this is a relatively straight-forward poem in terms of technique, albeit one featuring an unusual rhyme scheme where the fourth line of each stanza rhymes across the stanza breaks. 

However, the real interest for me lies in CAS' invocation of elements of classical Greek mythology within the narrator's contemporary reality, and how the narrator puts those elements to work in praise of his subject's beauty:

I deemed the golden nymphs were gone. . . .
And then—I turned, and saw you rise
Nude as a nymph that flees the faun,
With anklets of the foam's white beads,
And Hellas in your halcyon eyes!

With "By the River", CAS has delivered a poem of erotic attraction that is cloaked in the grandeur of ancient myth.  It's sly and seductive, and yet charming at the same time. 

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