Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The Hidden Paradise

Read "The Hidden Paradise" at The Eldritch Dark:

In a similar vein to "Secret Love" (which I read yesterday), in "The Hidden Paradise" I find Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) presenting a dark love poem that really works, and is so much more rewarding than less impressive works from the same author that feature related subject matter (see for instance my comments on "Cleopatra" and "Nightfall").

Here we have a pair of lovers determined to defy all external forces that may intrude on their mutual passion, a passion so strong that it would even seek refuge in death:

                                      Though the breath
Of all the gods a bolted storm prepare,
Till blood-red gloom of thunders blind the sun,

Shall we not turn with clinging kisses there,
And, laughing, quaff some dreamless wine of death—
Triumphant still, in mere oblivion?

That final line "Triumphant still, in mere oblivion?" has an undeniable power, representing the ultimate act of defiance.  The lovers may be forced into that grim destiny, but in doing so their defiance is simply an extreme extension of their passion.

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