Monday, November 16, 2020

Before Dawn

Read "Before Dawn" at The Eldritch Dark:

As someone who often wakes early in the morning before the sun is up, I can easily relate to what the speaker is describing in this poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS):

The moon's late-risen ray
Through paling panes is shed. . . .
From dreams uncomforted
I rouse before the day.

The poem gains much of its effectiveness from the use of trimeter (rather than the pentameter that is more common in English poetry) deployed in quatrains, so that each stanza reads very smoothly, much like the lyrics of a pop song.  

CAS enhances that effect through simplified diction, avoiding the "big vocabulary" that some of his detractors zero in on; "halcyon" is about the most exotic word choice in these lines, and that's not really an uncommon word.

All of this makes "Before Dawn" an uncharacteristically uncomplicated poem from CAS, and I quite admire it, both as an enjoyable poem to read in its own right, and as an example of the artist demonstrating the range of his technical skills.

No comments:

Post a Comment