Thursday, February 18, 2021

Poet in A Barroom

Read "Poet in A Barroom" at The Eldritch Dark:

I can't help suspecting that this haiku from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was inspired by a personal experience, given that CAS was known to sometimes frequent bars in his hometown of Auburn, California.  

There's a sense of isolation in the final line "One peers from a time-lost star."  The life of a poet working in a small rural town must have had many challenges, and CAS' letters often speak of his frustration with his circumstances, as an artist living in a community that did not seem to place great value on creative endeavors. 

Despite that, the sense of isolation in "Poet in A Barroom" is not complete; the speaker appears to be including himself amongst those who "Throng the bar".  If indeed this poem is autobiographical, I think that sentiment reflects the fact that CAS was not aloof, although perhaps something of a reserved personality.

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