Friday, November 16, 2018

To the Crescent Moon

Here we have another early poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that was unpublished in his lifetime, and not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the text itself:

I am half-wearied by the moon's wide flight,
          Yet too complete were evening's offered rest:
          Come thou upon the still and sleeping west
And wash the shadows with a dream of light.

Make thou for me such twilight as of Sleep,
          And fill with visions borne on filmy wings
          That borderland--with dreamy flutterings
That vaguely venture as from Slumber's deep.

This is an interesting incantatory effect at work here, as each line of this poem contains a word or phrase that references the states of dreaming or sleeping:

  • Line 1: "half-wearied"
  • Line 2: "rest"
  • Line 3: "sleeping"
  • Line 4: "dream"
  • Line 5: "Sleep"
  • Line 6: "visions borne on filmy wings"
  • Line 7: "dreamy flutterings"
  • Line 8: "Slumber's deep"

For me as a reader, those repeated effects do encourage a slower reading pace, as the narrator invokes some of the magic of dreams to visit him in "That borderland" while he sits between wakefulness and sleep.  One gets the sense of a sorcerer working a spell to call upon the rich storehouse of the subconscious.

No comments:

Post a Comment