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Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Oldjoe (IP Logged)
Date: 5 October, 2020 09:19PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Much of intellectual discussion, and
> progressive analysis, is wasted time. That is my
> experience. It has led me only very slowly forward
> in wisdom. It is essentially empty. I feel, that
> the best way we can use our intellects, is through
> creativity. That gives the greatest satisfaction,
> and then we stand closest in harmony with God and
> the Cosmos.

Well said - I couldn't agree more Knygatin!

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 6 October, 2020 12:16PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sawfish Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Knygatin Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > > It destroys the magic and mystery.
> >
> > Does that happen here?
>
> That is for each one to ask oneself. I don't allow
> it to happen to me. I participate in the
> information I like and need, and reject
> superfluous information I feel is pulling me in
> the wrong direction.
>
>
> >
> > It's hard then to see what there is to discuss.
> It
> > will be one person saying that he likes a
> certain
> > thing, and another saying he likes another
> certain
> > thing. Occasionally someone will agree with
> > someone else, ...
> >
>
> Sounds pretty much like the correspondence between
> CAS and Lovecraft, when they recommended stories
> to each other.


Sawfish, clearing his throat...

"I served with Clark Ashton Smith. I knew Clark Ashton Smith. Clark Ashton Smith was a friend of mine. Sir, you're no Clark Ashton Smith..."

;^)

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 6 October, 2020 12:23PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> While we are on the subject of misanthropy, here
> is my favorite epigram by CAS:
>
> “The real objection to the Darwinian theory is
> that man has not yet evolved from the ape.”
>
> I think the human intellect is gravely
> overestimated. Our perception, understanding, and
> analysis of our surroundings, is very limited. We
> can perceive only a small part, and this is
> twisted in perspective by our peculiar nerve
> sensory setup. We like to think of ourselves as
> rational and objective. We fool ourselves. We are
> animals. Our whole outlook, our judgment, and
> taste in art and literature, all of our decisions,
> are really controlled by our emotions and
> instincts. Much of intellectual discussion, and
> progressive analysis, is wasted time. That is my
> experience. It has led me only very slowly forward
> in wisdom. It is essentially empty. I feel, that
> the best way we can use our intellects, is through
> creativity. That gives the greatest satisfaction,
> and then we stand closest in harmony with God and
> the Cosmos.

This is very close to what I mean when I say that all anyone ever needs to know about human behavior can be learned by watching Jane Goodall documentaries.

This is *not* hyperbole.

CAS feels that the best use of what we *do* have intellectually is thru creativity; I differ with this since I have little-to-no creativity within me. I use my puny intellect to stay out of trouble.

That's about it. I am really good at staying out of all sorts of "trouble": financial, interpersonal, professional, etc.

You got to use what God has seen fit to give you...

:^)

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 6 October, 2020 01:08PM
I share some feelings with CAS, like his appreciation for individualism and his distaste for psychologists, so I share some feelings with Knygatin about the transcendence of creativity. But at the same time, I don't see much use in making authoritative statements about what is or isn't meaningful, or what constitutes a good or bad waste of time. The way I see it, CAS' statement that all ideologies are just candles in the infinite blackness of the universe can easily be turned against itself, even though I follow it as well. If there really is just infinite blackness, and we are all just candles about to flicker from existence, I think anyone could live in any way they please.

I'd participate more in both types of conversation here, as I enjoy both analytic discussions and listening to personal experiences (these type of conversations can be illuminating, especially here on this forum, but I agree that fanbase websites are pretty useless if you want to engage with people deeply). The only issue is an unbearably busy family life!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 6 Oct 20 | 01:10PM by Hespire.

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: The Sojourner of Worlds (IP Logged)
Date: 8 October, 2020 05:16PM
Oldjoe,

— How does one end up being published in Spectral Realms?

— I linked Postlude as an example of Smith's worldview. 'Hearkening now the voices of the crowd... What have you found amid the many faces?'

However, there's a line in there that says 'Your naked body on the noonlit hill'. Is it 'noonlit' or 'moonlit'? I assume it's the latter but not sure.

— Any other Weird Tales poets you like? For instance, I haven't read all that much from Frank Belknap Long but what little I did read left a very positive impression, and just recently I discovered Mary Maude Dunne Wright AKA Lilith Lorraine.

[img.newspapers.com]

Robert E. Howard is another one I'm fond of. Good portion of his poems actually sound like stories he never found time to write.

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Oldjoe (IP Logged)
Date: 9 October, 2020 10:42AM
The Sojourner of Worlds Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> — How does one end up being published in
> Spectral Realms?

S.T. Joshi is the editor of Spectral Realms, so the way to get published is to send a poem to him for consideration.

> However, there's a line in there that says 'Your
> naked body on the noonlit hill'. Is it 'noonlit'
> or 'moonlit'? I assume it's the latter but not
> sure.

I's rendered as "noonlit" in all the print sources I've looked at (The Hill of Dionysus, Selected Poems, and the Hippocampus edition of The Complete Poetry and Translations). It is quite an evocative term for the phenomenon of meridian sunlight.

> — Any other Weird Tales poets you like? For
> instance, I haven't read all that much from Frank
> Belknap Long but what little I did read left a
> very positive impression, and just recently I
> discovered Mary Maude Dunne Wright AKA Lilith
> Lorraine.
>
> [img.newspapers.com]
> &user=0&id=298592974&width=557&height=2062&crop=15
> 5_2108_1550_5845&rotation=0&brightness=0&contrast=
> 0&invert=0&ts=1602015425&h=062a0573a778e97b207f077
> 34f1bf6da
>
> Robert E. Howard is another one I'm fond of. Good
> portion of his poems actually sound like stories
> he never found time to write.

Both Donald Wandrei and Frank Belknap Long have some decent poems (the latter's "On Reading Arthur Machen" is especially good), but I haven't read many other poets from the Weird Tales era. REH's poetry is on my to-read list, and I'll get to it one of these days!

Lilith Lorraine is a name that I have heard, only because CAS apparently wrote an introduction to one of her books:

[www.eldritchdark.com]

Have you found any of Lorraine's verse online or in print Sojourner? Any particular poems from her that you can recommend?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 9 Oct 20 | 10:42AM by Oldjoe.

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 22 October, 2020 05:42PM
For those of us having difficulties with grasping verse in general, I would recommend the books An Apology for Poetry by Sir Philip Sidney, and A Defense of Poetry by Percy Bysshe Shelly. They are both enjoyable reading, and open up previously closed doors, to wider vistas, for an ingrained mundane mind.

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 22 October, 2020 10:37PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For those of us having difficulties with grasping
> verse in general, I would recommend the books An
> Apology for Poetry by Sir Philip Sidney, and A
> Defense of Poetry by Percy Bysshe Shelly. They are
> both enjoyable reading, and open up previously
> closed doors, to wider vistas, for an ingrained
> mundane mind.


Your recommendations raise interesting implications, OldJoe.

To me, the key difference between reading most poetry and most prose is that find that I must essentially "study" the work, virtually word-by-word, if the language is typically florid.

This in not *bad*, and can be very rewarding I've found since you started this thread--I had not read any poetry, at all, for many years.

But it does require more time, and more privacy, for me, at least. Therefore, it is less accessible.

There are more modern works that are much more direct. Have you read Dickey's "Falling"?

[poets.org]

"Death of the Ball Turret Gunner"?

These come at poetry differently than from Yeats, for example, or our own CAS.

And I recall having an undergraduate class that covered the Calvalier poets...

Your opinions?

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Oldjoe (IP Logged)
Date: 24 October, 2020 09:20AM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To me, the key difference between reading most
> poetry and most prose is that find that I must
> essentially "study" the work, virtually
> word-by-word, if the language is typically
> florid.

I read poetry the same way that you do Sawfish, at least "serious" poetry (from which I'd exclude limericks, nonsense verse, etc).

The compact nature of poems forces their creators to be more deliberate with diction, and to use literary devices (such as metaphor and allusion) to extend the poem's scope beyond the actual words themselves. It's really quite a different craft than writing prose.

However, one of the reasons I admire CAS so much is that he often applied his poetic craft to his short fiction, and of course to his prose poems as well. I know there are readers who dislike stories such as "The Abominations of Yondo", but for me the poetic flavor is a big part of the appeal ("The sand of the desert of Yondo is not as the sand of other deserts...")

Your reference to "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" is quite apropos: at only five lines, it's a quick read, but Jarrell chose his words very carefully, and each line sparks connections and meanings that go well beyond what is "on the page". That poem is a wonderful demonstration of what is possible with the unique qualities of poetry, when worked by a master craftsman.

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 24 October, 2020 06:36PM
Oldjoe Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sawfish Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > To me, the key difference between reading most
> > poetry and most prose is that find that I must
> > essentially "study" the work, virtually
> > word-by-word, if the language is typically
> > florid.
>
> I read poetry the same way that you do Sawfish, at
> least "serious" poetry (from which I'd exclude
> limericks, nonsense verse, etc).
>
> The compact nature of poems forces their creators
> to be more deliberate with diction, and to use
> literary devices (such as metaphor and allusion)
> to extend the poem's scope beyond the actual words
> themselves. It's really quite a different craft
> than writing prose.
>
> However, one of the reasons I admire CAS so much
> is that he often applied his poetic craft to his
> short fiction, and of course to his prose poems as
> well.

YES!

Now that you mention it, I *do* read CAS differently--I run sentences thru my mind a couple of times,--not every line, as in his poetry, but certain passages that seem to me to be "loaded"--to be unraveled and to see that they have multiple, perhaps interlocking, or telescoping, meanings.

As in his poetry.

> I know there are readers who dislike
> stories such as "The Abominations of Yondo",

NO!

They are wrong!!! ;^)

I've *always* liked it, the whole thing, and he *runs* back to the inquisitors, almost gladly...

Wow!

> but
> for me the poetic flavor is a big part of the
> appeal ("The sand of the desert of Yondo is not as
> the sand of other deserts...")
>
> Your reference to "The Death of the Ball Turret
> Gunner" is quite apropos: at only five lines, it's
> a quick read, but Jarrell chose his words very
> carefully, and each line sparks connections and
> meanings that go well beyond what is "on the
> page". That poem is a wonderful demonstration of
> what is possible with the unique qualities of
> poetry, when worked by a master craftsman.

Since we have started this thread, and I have had a chance to learn how to read poetry, I believe at this late stage in my life--where I am sleepless for long periods of the night and hence read--I may well starting reading a whole lot more.

The pace is very much different, isn't it? It's definitely not the same as reading prose...

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: The Sojourner of Worlds (IP Logged)
Date: 27 October, 2020 11:22AM
Oldjoe,

— I just found out there's also a journal called Penumbra which seems to serve a similar purpose except it's for articles and original fiction.

It's good to know that if one happens to write any sort of a tribute to Smith, or the weirds in general, all they have to do is send it to Joshi, without going through too much hassle. The only problem seems to be that it's released once a year (or twice, as is the case with Spectral Realms) which sounds less than ideal but I suppose it's a start.

— I think my favourite by Long might be On Icy Kinarth. I suspect the added illustration may have something to do with it.

[ia803001.us.archive.org]

— With Howard it's the likes of Adventurer, Always Comes Evening, Cimmeria, Flaming Marble, Moon Mockery, Moonlight on a Skull, Orientia, Recompense, Remembrance, The Singer in the Mist, The Song of a Mad Minstrel, Surrender, To the Contended, Which Will Scarcely Be Understood.

Like I said, a lot of these feel like short stories and novels he never found time to write.

— As for Lorraine, I'm afraid I'm still in the process of googling about her, haha. Still, I could say the link I posted offers at least two poems I quite enjoyed, namely A Thousand Lives Ago and Who Are the Dead?

And on that googling note:

[www.eldritchdark.com]

Furthermore:

[www.joshuablubuhs.com]

Related and perhaps more on-topic:

[www.joshuablubuhs.com]

— Even more on-topic, quite a few of Smith's poems (Averoigne, Mors, Necromancy, Song of the Necromancer) mention 'necromantic glass' or 'necromancer's glass'.

Does anyone know what this refers to?

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Oldjoe (IP Logged)
Date: 5 November, 2020 09:36AM
The Sojourner of Worlds Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> — As for Lorraine, I'm afraid I'm still in the
> process of googling about her, haha. Still, I
> could say the link I posted offers at least two
> poems I quite enjoyed, namely A Thousand Lives Ago
> and Who Are the Dead?

Thanks Sojourner for the various links related to Lilith Lorraine. She does seem like a talented poet, and it's a bit of a shame that her work seems to be somewhat forgotten today. I found one of her poems online that seems directly inspired by HPL and his mythos, and it's really one of the better things I've read in that vein:

[deepcuts.blog]


> — Even more on-topic, quite a few of Smith's
> poems (Averoigne, Mors, Necromancy, Song of the
> Necromancer) mention 'necromantic glass' or
> 'necromancer's glass'.
>
> Does anyone know what this refers to?

I always assumed that with those phrases CAS was referring to scrying, or perhaps more specifically to catoptromancy, since that is sometimes linked to necromancy. But I'm no expert on occult practices, so that's just an uninformed assumption on my part.

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Ancient History (IP Logged)
Date: 5 November, 2020 11:06AM
If you liked that poem by Lilith Lorraine, don't forget "The Woods of Averoigne" (1934) by Grace Stillman: [deepcuts.blog]

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Oldjoe (IP Logged)
Date: 22 November, 2020 04:21PM
For those interested in discussing another of CAS' poems, I'll recommend "Midnight Beach":

[www.eldritchdark.com]

I blogged about this poem earlier today:

[www.desertdweller.net]

I think it's a great example of a poem that has a distinctly terrestrial subject (two lovers romping on the beach), but is simultaneously fueled by CAS' interests in the cosmic and the fantastic:

Aloof we seemed, from time and change,
Like runes a magian might unroll
Upon some old unfading scroll,
Or phantoms loosed from earthly dole
In starry freedom, lone and strange.


Few writers I know of can combine the strains of the worldly and the weird with such great effect as CAS does in "Midnight Beach", and I'm curious if other readers find this particular poem as compelling as I do.

Re: A closer look at the poems of Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 24 November, 2020 02:15AM
Oldjoe Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Few writers I know of can combine the strains of
> the worldly and the weird with such great effect
> as CAS does in "Midnight Beach", and I'm curious
> if other readers find this particular poem as
> compelling as I do.

I don't find this poem weird at all. But it is a beautiful love-poem, touching upon the spiritually eternal through cosmic analogy. The kind of poetry that would seem natural to come from a talent like CAS, who lived in the countryside far from the bustling city, and who slept outside the shack in a bunk underneath the stars.

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