Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Read "Mystery" at The Eldritch Dark:


Among the poems of love from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS), this one has an intensity of feeling that is uncommon, and the poet's recognition of the ineffability of deep human connections is striking:

But in delectable
Dark ways, and wordless speech,
Our hearts throb each to each
The tale we cannot tell.

The final stanza turns that ineffability into something infused with a transcendent power (the word "divine" in the last line was certainly chosen with care):

Communion clear with thine,
Has found the oblivion deep
Which is not death nor sleep
But ampler life divine.

There is always a danger in trying to understand the creator himself by deriving evidence from his creations, and yet I think "Mystery" provides an insight into CAS' core values.  We know from various biographical sources that he was not a religious man, and in this poem he sanctifies human connection over heavenly submission.  Thus the man himself does indeed seem to speak through his verse in "Mystery". 

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