Sunday, December 6, 2020

Surréalist Sonnet

Read "Surréalist Sonnet" at The Eldritch Dark:

Note that the version of this poem at The Eldritch Dark has a typo in line 10; the word "hones" should read "bones": "still rise the verdant bones of gluttonies".

Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) briefly described this poem in a letter* to August Derleth from July 1946:

Did I ever send you my Surréalist Sonnet, written as a take-off on Dali?

(A copy of the poem was enclosed with the letter to Derleth).  

The reference is of course to Salvador Dalí, the flamboyant Catalonian artist who was living in the U.S. at the time. 

Inspired by Dalí's idiosyncratic imagery, "Surréalist Sonnet" succeeds in painting an off-kilter scene with culinary overtones.  But lest one forget whose work this is, in line twelve we encounter "The sage arachnidan from Regulus", a character that would have been at home in The Hashish-Eater.

As a "take-off" on the work of Dalí, this poem certainly hits the target, and displays CAS' dry sense of humor seasoned with his own personal stamp.  While not characteristic of CAS' larger body of verse, "Surréalist Sonnet" is quite enjoyable on its own terms.

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