Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Last Goddess

Read "The Last Goddess" at The Eldritch Dark:

This is love poem as only Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) could write it.  You don't find lines like this just anywhere:

The curls of one were black Circean petals
Of poppies blown by night
In the sad gardens of a sinful star

Three lines packed with mood, imagery, and motion, and that's just a sampling of the complete poem.  

There is an unusual rhyme scheme at work here (I'm not enough of a poetic scholar to name it if it does indeed match a known model).  The irregularity of the rhyme is part of what makes this piece work for me, since more regular rhyme patterns (ABAB or some such) can have a trite feel and sounding if the writer is not very careful with word choices.  By using a sort of staggered rhyme across these eighteen lines, CAS creates a foreword momentum wherein the reader seeks the completion of the rhymes, which has the effect of encouraging the reader to take in the entire poem in an almost single breathless reading (although the generous use of colons and semi-colons does create waypoints).  

Although CAS designated this poem as "A Fragment", it feels very complete to me, since the technical approach serves the subject matter very well.

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