Read "Necromancy" at The Eldritch Dark:
This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) first saw publication in the March 1943 issue of Weird Tales magazine, at least nine years after it was originally written.
The use of the necromancer's dark art as a metaphor for remembrance is powerfully invoked in this poem, as in the following lines:
...Ancient queen and lass,
Risen vampire-like from out the wormy mould,
Deep in the magic mirror of my heart
Behold their perished beauty, and depart.
It's a powerful example of the poet's ability to use images and settings rich with mythology and the supernatural to color and embolden the common experiences of human existence.
The meaning of necromancy has changed a lot throughout history. These days a necromancer is an evil lich raising supernatural legions of armed skeletons, but in elder times necromancy was the evocation of greater deities to communicate with spirits of the dead. I love the way Smith uses this imagery to evoke such glorious, wistful, and even painful ghosts of passions. Truly his best poetry is a form of necromantic incantation, evoking the spirits and gods from our own primal memories.ReplyDelete
I love your statement "Truly his best poetry is a form of necromantic incantation, evoking the spirits and gods from our own primal memories."ReplyDelete
I think that's absolutely correct, and speaks to CAS' habit of using references from classical mythology to make associations that reach far back in the collective human psyche.