Tuesday, August 4, 2020

A Dream of the Abyss

Read "A Dream of the Abyss" at The Eldritch Dark:


This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) hearkens back to his earliest published verse, particularly from The Star-Treader and Other Poems (1912).  Although it wasn't published until 1933 (in a fanzine), it may well have been written earlier, since the style is so reminiscent of early poems from his first collection.  

Particularly notable is the use of two long stanzas, each containing a single sentence.  Although each of these stanzas uses additional punctuation for pacing, it seems as though CAS' intent was for each to be read at a fairly manic pace.

While the poem definitely has some vivid language, overall it does seem like a minor effort, competent but without any particular spark to bring it to life in the reader's mind.

1 comment:

  1. I recently finished Smith's "The Second Interment", and I can't help but feel a similar spirit in this piece, albeit on a far more cosmic scale. It fits into Smith's theme of the frightening yet merciful darkness of oblivion, while approaching Lovecraftian territory. Here the sun is compared to a cyclopean eye, the spaces between the stars to a great Fear, and other impressions compared to conspiring demons, and yet as an even greater darkness swallows up the narrator's mortal being, he briefly wonders if he is borne aloft by Azrael or Abaddon, both prestigious angels. There's an ambiguous dignity in this fall, even if he is ultimately alone.