Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Belated Love

Read "Belated Love" at The Eldritch Dark:

This sonnet by Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) underwent considerable revision between the initial publication in Ebony and Crystal (1922) and the later re-publication in Selected Poems (1971).

However, what is interesting to me is the first stanza, which is the one part of the work that did not change:

Ah, woe is me, for Love hath lain asleep,
Hath lain too long in some Circean close—
Till on his dreaming wings the ruined rose
Fell lightly, and the rose-red leaves were deep.

I like the understated use of repeated words and phrases in this quatrain.  The rhythm created by the repetition of "hath lain" in the first two lines echoes the sound of a musical refrain, and is amplified by the repetition of the word "rose" in the last two lines.

Combined with the strong end rhymes, this opening stanza has a rich, melodious flow that doesn't quite carry throughout the rest of the work, but it does make for an impressive opening that could stand on its own as a complete poem.

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