Wednesday, January 2, 2019

To the Daemon of Sublimity

Read "To the Daemon of Sublimity" at The Eldritch Dark:

This mystical sonnet by Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) is somewhat dense, featuring much of the exotic vocabulary that CAS is often noted for.  The yearning of the poet is deeply felt in these lines, and the entirety of the closing sestet is worth repeating:

Yea, in the fiery fastness of the star
That thine empyreal wings most often find,
Thy lordliest eyrie, lone in gulf and gloom,
Leave me and lose me, safe from wasting war
Of finite things unworthy, and resigned
To some apotheosis of bright doom.

The phrase "finite things unworthy" lingers in my mind, as the poet expresses his frustration with the limitations of the terrestrial realm.  While this sonnet explores thematic territory that CAS addressed in many other poems, the sense of a deep personal hunger for what lies beyond the earthly sphere is articulated in "To the Daemon of Sublimity" to a degree that I have not yet encountered in my journey through CAS' poetic corpus.

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