Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Old Limestone Kiln

Read "Old Limestone Kiln" at The Eldritch Dark:

This haiku from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) is another example of the poet taking liberties with his chosen form, given that haiku in English are usually rendered as three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables.

In "Old Limestone Kiln", CAS has instead used three lines of seven, five, and four syllables, with the last two lines sharing an end rhyme.  This structure works very well for what the author is describing, since the poem ends with a phrase built on a strong verb ("Oaks drop their fruit") which is not typical of English haiku.  

The direct, single-syllable words in that last line end the poem with a hard stop, providing a sense of animation, indicating that the abandoned kiln may be idle, but has acquired new life from the plants that have colonized it. 

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