Wednesday, May 20, 2020


Here is another poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that went unpublished in his lifetime, and is not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the complete text:

Ah! chide me not for silence, or that I,
Who lack not love, have wanted oftentimes
Brave words wherewith to love you: as a lake, 
Lulled in to sombre crystal by sad pines
Doth hold the moon made perfect in its heart
So have I held your image perfected 
In this my sombre soul, nor troubled it
With the vain wind of words.

I am reading CAS' poetry in roughly chronological order, and have read several hundred poems to date.  Many of those earlier poems featured an ornate style of composition as well as sometimes obscure choices of diction, and CAS was undoubtedly a master of that particular grand romantic style.

"Simile" is a different kind of poem, not just in the absence of common technical devices such as end rhymes, but in an economy of language and a maturity of conception that seems to augur a new phase in the progression of CAS' poetic art.  The description of "a lake, / Lulled in to sombre crystal by sad pines" is gorgeous and expressed with exacting precision and a careful use of alliteration.  

This poem represents an exciting milestone in my journey through the corpus of CAS' poetic work, since it contains hints of evolving stylistic choices that I hope to see further explored in the poems yet to be read.

No comments:

Post a Comment