Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Two on a Pillar

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was unpublished in his lifetime, and is not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the complete text:

Two on the Stylite's lofty pillar--
Which was above and which below?
Or still upright, did the Stylite thrill her
With many a happy thrust and throe?

The saint and his leman on the pillar
Jiggled dizzily to and fro,
And lustily he tried to fill her
While the Devil laughed in hell below.

His dick that was hard as the high hard pillar,
It melted away, to his shame and woe,
Too soon, and she left him there on the pillar
By the rope that hung to the ground below.

Erotic themes are not unusual throughout CAS' poetic works, but "Two on a Pillar" is substantially more ribald than is the author's norm.  Given that CAS did not seek to publish this poem, one can assume it was created as a bit of fun, taking aim at religious ascetics and their lives of deprivation.  

If nothing else, this poem can be enjoyed for lines like "Jiggled dizzily to and fro / And lustily he tried to fill her".  Not only is that unusually explicit for CAS, but there's also a hint of Edward Lear's nonsense poetry in there, with a touch of shock value to keep the sophomoric quality of the work from being a complete disappointment.  For comparison, see Lear's "There was an Old Man of the Nile":


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