Odes and Sonnets by Clark Ashton Smith


Clark Ashton Smith’s weird fiction is reprinted more often and more widely than his poetry so it’s convenient for those curious about his verse that the Internet Archive has two volumes of early work. Odes and Sonnets is from 1918 and features embellishments by illustrator Florence Lundborg whose grape-devouring peacocks nod towards the fin de siècle spirit Smith was trying to capture in his poems. The Star-Treader, and Other Poems is Smith’s first book from 1912, published when he was just 19, and is heavily indebted to the Decadents. That Decadent influence carried over into the stories he wrote for Weird Tales and augments their unique flavour and over-heated atmosphere, an atmosphere which raised his work above the often mediocre level of his contemporaries. On page 58 of The Star-Treader can be found The Eldritch Dark, the poem from which the leading Smith website takes its name.

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Clark Ashton Smith book covers