Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Read "Plum-Flowers" at The Eldritch Dark:
Here we have another poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that mentions an (almost) specific plant, likely Prunus domestica, or the European Plum. The taxonomy of the various plum species is dense and complex, but that's a subject for a different blog!
I admire the way CAS intertwines images of plum flowers in their springtime glory with reminiscences of the best moments of a romance, times that were "Like poising petals all unflown" to those who experienced them.
"Plum-Flowers" is all the more enjoyable as a contrast to the bigger ambitions of much of CAS' verse; so different from the strident notes of "Nero" or "Satan Unrepentant". This poem was first published in Sandalwood (1925), a collection that marked something of a way point in CAS' writing career, in terms of dedicated volumes of his verse. Since I'm reading his poetry in more-or-less chronological order, I'm almost done with those poems included in Ebony and Crystal (1922), and looking forward to getting to the Sandalwood phase, since early indications are that volume may contain some of his very best work.