Saturday, April 18, 2020


The first volume of The Complete Poetry and Translations of Clark Ashton Smith from Hippocampus Press ends with a generous collection of juvenilia.  As I'm reading through these youthful poems, it's not surprising that most of them are not very good, but it's impressive how much poetry Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) wrote even before he was seventeen.

Many of the poems have an exotic flavor, with titles such as "The City of the Djinn" and "Arabian Love-Song".  This subject matter parallels CAS's youthful prose writings, which Hippocampus Press has published in the collections The Black Diamonds and The Sword Of Zagan And Other Writings.  Technically speaking, there isn't much to say about these poems, since they are quite clearly not equal to CAS' mature work.  They are really only of interest to CAS completists (like me!).

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