Monday, April 8, 2019

The Land of Evil Stars

Read "The Land of Evil Stars" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) bears re-reading (in my case, several times!) due to a combination of evocative language and a visually rich scenario that prompts all sorts of visions in the reader's mind.

In the first stanza, CAS gives us white flowers basking in glorious sunshine.  And then with the onset of night, the "evil stars" work their sinister magic on those fragile blooms:

Peace and pallor of the flowers
They have fevered, they have marred
With the poison of their light,
With distill├Ęd bale and blight

There's a sort of reverse Disneyfication going on here.  Where the legendary animator might take such a subject and bring the plants to life with joyous song and gyration, CAS instead brings down a dark and almost violent fate on those same subjects.  Of course, the poem acknowledges the diurnal cycle, so there is some hope that the dominion of the evil stars is not permanent, and I'm sure those white flowers are very glad of that fact!

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