Saturday, February 22, 2020


Read "Remembrance" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) features many repeated phrases (not necessarily word-for-word repeats) in an interesting pattern somewhat like a villanelle.  The repetitions work together to create a short narrative, with each stanza contributing a distinct phase to a progression through the narrator's memories:

  • First stanza: the narrator recalls "a land of fallen suns"
  • Second stanza: the narrator recalls a woman "Supremely pale and fair"
  • Third stanza: the narrator recalls seeing the sky "In her blue eyes alone"
  • Fourth stanza: the narrator recalls an "ancient stream of tears" 

Taken as a whole, "Remembrance" is a ghostly tale of yearning and regret that is nonetheless wrapped in beauty.  As a formal experiment in poetic form, it's an unusual work from CAS, and quite successful in extracting meaning from structure.

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