Thursday, December 9, 2021

Maternal Prostitute

Here is another haiku from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that was unpublished in his lifetime.  As it is not available on The Eldritch Dark, here is the complete text:

On the stranger at her breast
Patiently she smiled: 
A mother with her child.

I believe that in the title of this short poem CAS is using a less-familiar meaning of the word "prostitute", one that the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines as "A person entirely or abjectly devoted to another."  

All the same, it's a curious word choice, given the strong (mostly negative) associations of the more common usage of the word!

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