Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Song of the Worlds

Read "The Song of the Worlds" at The Eldritch Dark:

There are a couple of typos in the transcription of this poem on The Eldritch Dark which I'll note here, since they do make for nonsensical reading (corrected words in bold below).

  • Line 9 should read: Across the hyaline profound
  • Line 39 should read: Where dreamt horizon-lines elude,

With typos corrected, this early poem by Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) reads quite beautifully, and the idea of planets voicing these lines is wonderful.  CAS is of course known for a "cosmic outlook" which would be considerably extended in later works, but even in this early poem we encounter phrases like "marginless immensity" and "Time's infinity" that signal the huge scope of the poet's imagination.

The central theme of planets yearning to break free from their gravitational destinies is paired with the metaphysical quandary "O universe, unto what aim / Thine orbit-streaming quest?"  This is great stuff, and really presents CAS playing to his strengths both in terms of prosody and philosophy.

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