Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Triple Aspect

Read "Triple Aspect" at The Eldritch Dark:

With this poem, Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) takes an interstellar journey, something that has not been much present in those of his poems that I have been reading recently (as part of my more-or-less chronological progression through his entire poetic corpus).  

The opening stanza is about as clear a statement of purpose as you can get:

Lo, for Earth's manifest monotony
Of ordered aspect unto sun and star,
And single moon, I turn to years afar
And ampler worlds ensphered in memory.

The narrator's imagination is too large to be sated by "Earth's manifest monotony", and thus his fancy takes flight to a planet with triple suns, and all the incredible visions that go along with that alien prospect.

Although the setting is presumably a planet distant from Earth, this is more a poem of fantasy than any sort of science fiction, as CAS uses his extraterrestrial setting to allow his imagery to run wild.  But as far as interplanetary adventuring goes, I feel a sympathy with CAS' approach, since he is interested in the "Transcendent beauty" of what is to be found on that remote planet, and expresses no interest in what such a world can yield to humanity's conquering and exploitative instincts.

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