Thursday, February 27, 2020

On Re-Reading Baudelaire

Read "On Re-Reading Baudelaire" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) certainly captures the spirit of the author for whom it is named, and further reflects the work of Edgar Allan Poe, whom Baudelaire acknowledged in turn as a source of inspiration.

Given the territory CAS is working in these lines, it's a fine poem, and gives him license for wordplay that is extravagant even by his own standards:

Lethean lotus, laurels of our doom,
Dark amarant with tall unswaying spears,
Await funereal autumn and its fears
In this grey land that sullen suns illume.

Reading verses like that, it's easy to understand why a lot of poetry written here in the early twenty-first century can feel cold and remote.  CAS was a poet clearly in love with the sounds of the English language, and his work is rich with music born of that approach.  So much of contemporary poetry seems to be lacking in exactly that sensibility.

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