Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Classic Reminiscence



Read "Classic Reminiscence" at The Eldritch Dark:


This haiku from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) refers to the Sicilian poet who is credited as the originator of Ancient Greek pastoral poetry.  The scene that CAS describes could easily have been drawn from Theocritus' own work, as in this translated excerpt from "The Death of Daphnis":


Pray, by the Nymphs, pray, Goatherd, seat thee here
Against this hill-slope in the tamarisk shade,
And pipe me somewhat, while I guard thy goats.


I know very little about CAS' reading of the ancient classics, but many of his poems refer to works that seem to reflect a deep knowledge that goes well beyond the familiar works of Homer and Ovid.  I suppose we'll never know, but it would certainly be interesting to learn just how extensive CAS' knowledge of classical literature really was.

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