Friday, October 2, 2020


Read "Ode" at The Eldritch Dark:

Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) wrote two poems with the same title; I blogged about the first of these earlier this year.

This second poem with the title "Ode" draws heavily on Greek mythology in paying tribute to a "young and dear and tender sorceress":

Long-fallen fruits by necromancy burn
Upon your lips; and perished planets rise
Into the beryl evening of your eyes;
And the lost autumns in your hair return.

In this poem, CAS mixes tributes to the beauty of the sorceress with references to the horror of an endless cycle of life and death powered by the dark force of necromancy:

Harsher it were than death
To face again the lonesome rain and rime,
And draw reluctant breath
From the grey rigors of an alien clime.

Both the subject matter and the diction remind me of the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, although I have no evidence that CAS intended this work as any sort of pastiche or tribute to one of his favorite writers.

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