Monday, July 1, 2019

To Beauty

Read "To Beauty" at The Eldritch Dark:

While this poem by Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) is described as a fragment, it seems to be a fairly polished work in terms of structure and completeness of thought.  The following  lines are particularly powerful, with the "who" referred to here being the "advancing heavens" mentioned earlier in the poem:

Who bruit thy briefest word
In cyclic thunders heard
By gods upon their echo-shaken throne;

Describing "gods upon their echo-shaken throne" is the sort of seed that only CAS can plant in the reader's imagination!

What's really interesting about this poem is that CAS has equated the broad concept of beauty with the immensity of the cosmos, and he even suggests that Beauty has dominion over those vast reaches of interstellar space.  Given that mankind had not yet even reached low earth orbit when CAS wrote this in the very early twentieth century, the scope of his imaginative powers is impressive.

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