Thursday, December 23, 2021

Pour Chercher du Nouveau

Read "Pour Chercher du Nouveau" at The Eldritch Dark:

The French title of this poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) can be translated into English as "In Search of the New".  Despite the title, it does not appear that CAS ever wrote a French version of the same poem.

"Pour Chercher du Nouveau" reads like a litany to summon the powers of the imagination, with its repeated calls to a daemon.  It seems to me that daemon is the creative spirit that lives within an artist.  

The dark fantastic visions described throughout the poem are characteristic of CAS' own writings, so one can read this poem as the author rallying his considerable talents in preparation for beginning a new work:

Call up the errant daemon, the pilgrim of strange lands,
And he will come, arising from shadow-tided strands,
With gifts of bale and beauty and wonder in his hands.

That closing stanza is as good a description of CAS the writer as I've ever seen, with its powerful suggestion of the wonders of Averoigne, Xiccarph, Zothique and so many other wonderful creations that flowed from his pen.

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