Friday, December 10, 2021

Ocean Twilight

Here is another haiku from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that was unpublished in his lifetime, and is not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here is the complete text:

Grey gulls on a grey sea:
Out of the sunset-glow
A wind blows bleak and keen.

This is obviously a pretty minor poem from CAS, and yet the use of alliteration is skillfully handled.  The "g" sound prominent in the first line carries over to "sunset-glow" at the end of the second, but the real magic comes in the final line: while the phrase "blows bleak" is dominated by a "b" sound, it also introduces the "k" sound that alliterates with the final word "keen."

It's notable that in a short poem that was not published in his lifetime, CAS was still paying close attention to the musicality of his diction, a sure sign that he was a true poet!

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