Saturday, November 3, 2018

Sonnet on Music

Here's another poem unpublished in the lifetime of Clark Ashton Smith (CAS):

Strange melodies unplayed my spirit hears

          Through lyric flute and soft guitar, or in
          The harmonious sobbing of the violin.
Music of laughter greets my subtler ears,
Or of the pain and anguish of the years.
          From stirring harp, or lute's melodious din,
          Or some cathedral organ's tone, I win
The larger music of the circling spheres.

Forever through the outer melodies 

Come subtle hints of vaster harmonies:
          In rhythm of torrents and of brooks I dream
          Faint echoes of life's everlasting Stream,
And in the ocean's sound, of earth supreme,
The resonance of mightier wider Seas.

The line "The larger music of the circling spheres" at the end of the octet sets the reader up perfectly for the "resolution" in the sestet, where CAS gives us striking phrases such as "outer melodies", "vaster harmonies", and "mightier wider Seas".  This sonnet is a strong evocation both of the power of music and of the broader cosmic scope of CAS' imagination.

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