Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Suns and the Void

Read "The Suns and the Void" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem brings us into the realm of the cosmic imagination that forms a big part of the artistic reputation of Clark Ashton Smith (CAS).  Like his most famous poem "The Hashish-Eater", this poem is written in blank verse, which has the effect of propelling the reader forward, since the natural pauses provided by rhymed line endings are absent.

The scope of the setting in this poem is tremendous, and it really does remind me of "The Hashish-Eater" because of the rapid succession of images that appear briefly and then are quickly replaced.  The sensation of the narrator being overwhelmed by all that he is imagining is wonderfully articulated:

O suns, thy light doth blind and stun the soul!
The imponderable abyss is as a weight
To crush the spirit utterly!

"The Suns and the Void" provides quite a contrast to some of the nature studies that I have been reading among CAS' early poems, and shows evidence both of CAS' discovery of the work of George Sterling and his own questing after a larger canvas on which to work, moving from the confines of rural California to the immense realms of the universe as we know it.

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