Monday, April 5, 2021

Boys Rob A Yellow-Hammer's Nest

Read "Boys Rob A Yellow-Hammer's Nest" at The Eldritch Dark:

As with the poem "Flight of the Yellow-Hammer" (which I blogged about last month), it seems that in "Boys Rob A Yellow-Hammer's Nest", Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) is referring to Colaptes auratus, the bird commonly known as the "northern flicker".

It's not a great poem from CAS, but as part of his "Childhood" series of haiku, it definitely captures a spirit of youthful adventure in the natural world that reminds me of my own boyhood.

Saturday, April 3, 2021


Read "Water-Fight" at The Eldritch Dark:

Although I've generally enjoyed Clark Ashton Smith's (CAS) works in haiku, this particular poem strikes me as one of his weaker efforts in that form.  This is mostly because the closing phrase "glad cries" reads awkwardly, and is not well-anticipated either sonically or conceptually by the rest of the poem.  

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Fight on the Play-Ground

Although this haiku from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was included in his "Childhood" grouping of poems, it was not included in the selection from that grouping that was published in his omnibus Selected Poems (1971).  Likewise, it is not available on The Eldritch Clark, so here's the complete text:

Agonists with bloody noses,
How we slugged and mauled, 
Swore and squalled.

I like the transition that moves through the past tense verbs "slugged", "mauled", and "squalled".  When the poem is read aloud, the last of those verbs sounds like an amalgamation of "slugged" and "mauled", allowing for a very animated reading built around that wordplay.