Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Melancholy Pool

Read "The Melancholy Pool" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was published (several years after he wrote it) in Weird Tales, marking one of his early appearances in the pages of The Unique Magazine.  It's interesting to look at the table of contents for that issue, which also featured pieces from Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, among others.

The poem itself feels quite appropriate for inclusion in Weird Tales, since it has a distinctly supernatural feel, established with considerable skill in the opening lines:

Marked by the priesthood of the Night's misrule,
The shadow-cowled, imprecatory trees—
Cypress that guarded woodland secrecies

As he did in other poems, CAS plays here on the symbolic associations of cypress trees with graveyards and the underworld, and his description of those trees as "the priesthood of the Night's misrule" is wonderfully evocative.

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