Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Ennuye

Read "The Ennuye" at The Eldritch Dark:

This sonnet from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) went through a couple of title changes with accompanying revisions to the text.  Interestingly, this early version was published in his hometown newspaper, the Auburn Journal.

Even for CAS, this poem has a very dark tone.  As the narrator contemplates his life in the opening octet, he envisions the "acrid fruits of Sodom" and "Dull ashes from the urns of all the dead" raining down upon his days.  

In the closing sestet, he really drives the nail home: "My life, an isle in seas of languor lost" bespeaks the weariness inherent to the ennui the speaker is feeling, and conveys an idea of complete isolation that is quite chilling.

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