Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Twilight Song

Read "Twilight Song" at The Eldritch Dark:


This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) does a wonderful job of establishing a temporal setting. Through the succession of each of the four stanzas, the speaker establishes the time of day:

  • First stanza: "Below the vesper star"
  • Second stanza: "On winds of sunset gone"
  • Third stanza: "Mute evening wanes in mist"
  • Fourth stanza: "O night! upon thy stream"

That last stanza sets the speaker's hope that dreams will let him reconnect with a lost love:

O night! upon thy stream
Obliviously to float
And haply find in westward-flowing dream
Her place and face remote.

CAS was writing a lot of romantic poems in the early 1940's (this one is from September 1942) and not all of those stand the test of time, but "Twilight Song" has a carefully crafted simplicity which has the plaintive quality of a melancholy love song.

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