Monday, December 14, 2020

Reverie in August

Read "Reverie in August" at The Eldritch Dark:

Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) wrote many love poems, and not a few of those evoke the palpable aspects of one of the seasons of the year as metaphors for events in human relationships.  

"Reverie in August" fits perfectly into that pattern, as CAS sets the stage: "The heat is like some drowsy drug".  In something perhaps of a semi-conscious state, the speaker's memories of romance begin to stir:

Again some gently murmured word
Lights the great fire in my blood . . .
Till rapture like a singing sun
Is in the riven spirit stirred.

The poem is rife with words and phrases that surround the reader with summer heat ("warm oblivion", "earth and air that burn with drouth") reflecting the speaker's passionate reawakening.  It very much reminds me of Terrence Malick's wonderfully enigmatic film Days of Heaven, which is built from similar strains of erotic energy fueled by the waning days of summer.

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