Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Wingless Archangels

Read "The Wingless Archangels" at The Eldritch Dark:

It seems as though it's been a while since I've read a sonnet by Clark Ashton Smith (CAS), but "The Wingless Archangels" is an excellent use of the form.  The title itself almost tells a story, presenting the notion of ethereal beings handicapped and unable to achieve their full glory.

The stirring images of the opening octet give way to a much bleaker closing sestet, beginning with the dark lines "But on their immortality is blight— / Whose dream betraying deserts have undone".  CAS' imaginative worlds always had an element of doom, and this sonnet is no exception.  Rendered with such exceptional poetic technique and harmonious language, "The Wingless Archangels" is beautiful and terrible in equal measures.

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