Monday, November 9, 2020

Classic Epigram

Read "Classic Epigram" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was attributed to his pseudonym Christophe des Laurières.  It was included the 1976 letterpress edition of Seer of the Cycles with the alternate title "Adjuration".

The reference to "Lesbia", the muse at the heart of the poetry of the Roman writer Catullus, immediately gives "Classic Epigram" a mythic depth.  But given that this poem was supposedly penned by that great libertine des Laurières, reading between the lines reveals what is really going on, as the sweet words of a seducer prepare his lover for the end of the dalliance as he moves on in quest of new romantic adventures.  

It all fits perfectly into the model of an epigram, and it's something of a curiosity that CAS did not use this particular form more often.

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