Thursday, October 8, 2020


Read "Anteros" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) invokes the Greek god known for his opposition to Eros, the god of love:

O lover, thy black prayer unsay,
Who called on baleful Anteros!
Crown thee with nettles, kneel, and lay
Thy brows upon love's altar close,
To the departing Eros pray
Against the wrath of Anteros.

The name Anteros is repeated twice in each of the three stanzas, usually preceded by an adjective, and that collection of adjectives provides an unequivocal characterization:

  • vengeful
  • mournful
  • mortal
  • sad
  • baleful

I'm not in love with the technique of building up a character portrait through excessive use of adjectives (in line with the "show don't tell" school of characterization), but given the compactness of the poetic form, it's an interesting technical choice.

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