Monday, March 22, 2021


Read "River-Canyon" at The Eldritch Dark:

This is an interesting ten-part poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS), where each of the ten sections roughly follows the haiku form.  

There is an evident structure to the complete work, as the first four sections each mention several plant species, while the fifth switches to focus on birds.  The next four sections (numbered VI-IX) follow the course of the river channel itself, and in the closing stanza CAS once again shifts his focus to resident avians.

Since "River-Canyon" contains so many specific details, I'd be fascinated to know the location of the journey that CAS describes in this poem.  I recently read Edward Abbey's classic work Desert Solitaire, which includes a chapter detailing a boat trip the author took down Glen Canyon before the creation of the Glen Canyon Dam, which inundated so many of the natural wonders that Abbey writes about.  Although CAS' "River-Canyon" details a land-based episode, I'd love to visit the location that the poet describes to see how many of the plants, birds, and other natural features that he describes are still present in that place.

No comments:

Post a Comment