Saturday, August 24, 2019


Read "Sepulture" at The Eldritch Dark:

Recently I've read several poems by Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that had to do with the theme of romantic rejection, and how the spurned lover uses such a dismissal as a spur for other things entirely.  "Sepulture" takes a different approach, as the narrator seeks to preserve the memory of a lost love in his heart and his imagination.  

This is a very touching sonnet as only CAS could deliver, and the closing sestet has an astonishing beauty that is worth repeating:

And though the bleak Novembral gardens yield
Rose-dust and ivy-leaf, nor any flower
Be found through vermeil forest or wan field—
Still, still the asphodel and lotos lie
Around thy bed, and hour by silent hour,
Exhale immortal fragrance like a sigh.

I believe "Novembral" is an invented word, and yet it is perfect in context and thus needs no definition.  I am not aware that CAS was regularly in the habit of formulating new English vocabulary, but it's a practice I'll be keeping an eye out for as I read ever further into his poetic corpus.

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