Monday, February 3, 2020


Read "Alienage" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) is a memorable one, contrasting the wild mysteries of classical Greek mythology with the humdrum reality of the modern world, as exemplified in the opening line of each of the two stanzas: "Dear one, what do we here?"  

As further indicated in the poem's title, the narrator wishes to dissociate himself and his paramour from their time and place, and imagine themselves among the glories of the ancient world of myth: 

Hast thou forgot,
Here, in the grey, sad world that knows us not,
The years when we were nymph and centaur, drawn
To elder forests deep
That spring had turned to chrysolite and gold?

However, this is not exclusively a poem of loss and regret, as the narrator weaves his thread of seduction:

Let us forget the weariness and pain,
And the supreme disaster of our birth,
While in thy flesh my lingering
Slow kisses move and cling
And love alone hath verity or worth.

"Alienage" represents CAS' poetry at its best, interweaving elements of myth and romance wrapped in shadows of darkness.  Great stuff!

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