Friday, December 4, 2020


This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was unpublished in his lifetime, and is not available on The Eldritch Dark, so the complete text follows.  The "Puliakamon" to whom the poem is dedicated has not been identified.

For Puliakamon

Thou art both the yonic altar and the goddess,
And I am thine acolyte, 
The bearer of the lingham.

Thou hast become the Muse--
Sweet, bawdy, sacred, pagan and profane.

I invoke thee,
Yet know not wholly that which I invoke.

I have brought thee earthly gifts as well as divine gifts:
For in earthliness there is also a sanctity and a sublimity.

The sound of thy laughter and mine has mingled with the sound of tabors in the adytum,
And the echoes thereof shall not be silenced,
And sidereal ears shall harken
And sidereal lips repeat the laughter.

I have poured into thee my seed,
And of that seed love shall be the progeny,
Since love was the father;
And generations of dreams and eons and divinities shall be born;
And the Mystic Rose shall spring thereof,
Unfolding in gardens tilled by seraphim,
And breathing on all the paths an attar of sevenfold delight.

Thou hast lain wholly naked in my embrace,
Nearer to me than my soul--
And yet thou standest on the flaming apex of the Star,
And cradlest in thine arms the fate that has not yet descended into flesh.

Of all the poems from CAS that I have read so far, this one feels the very most personal, and it seems like an intrusion to even read it.  The explicit nature of the first stanza reinforces the idea (introduced by the dedication) that this is indeed based on one of CAS' own experiences, clearly one that involved the very closest physical intimacy.

It's a truly beautiful poem, and one of the more successful uses of blank verse in CAS' poetic canon.  But due to the very personal nature of the content, I can well understand that CAS chose not to publish this one in his lifetime.

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