Saturday, October 10, 2020


Read "Interim" at The Eldritch Dark:

This love poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) is charged with weird and erotic energies that elevate it beyond some of his mundane romantic verses, all the more remarkable considering that a version of this poem was published in his hometown newspaper (the Auburn Journal) in 1941.

It's hard to speculate how the newspaper's small town readership would have reacted to some of saucier elements of "Interim", such as:    

Closely, more closely ever,
Like flames that meet and mingle in blown air,
Mouth drew to mouth, bosom to bosom there
In the long kiss that could not sever.

However, it's the combination of sensual and supernatural elements that really powers this poem:

Yea, the pale mists, and life, and memory
And all things passed before our ecstasy
Like alien phantoms, furtive and unknown,
To their dim tombs returning. . . .

As with many of his poems of love, in these lines CAS captures a fleeting moment where lovers have escaped the banal trivialities of the everyday world and experienced something that transcends ordinary reality.  It's not a highly original idea, but one that CAS handles with flair in "Interim".

No comments:

Post a Comment