Clark Ashton Smith
Biography of Clark Ashton Smith
Clark Ashton Smith (January 13, 1893 – August 14, 1961) was a self-educated American poet, sculptor, painter and author of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. He achieved early local recognition, largely through the enthusiasm of George Sterling, for traditional verse in the vein of Swinburne. As a poet, Smith is grouped with the West Coast Romantics alongside Ambrose Bierce, Joaquin Miller, Sterling, Nora May French, and remembered as "The Last of the Great Romantics" and "The Bard of Auburn".
Smith was one of "the big three of Weird Tales, along with Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft", where some readers objected to his morbidness and violation of pulp traditions. It has been said of him that "nobody since Poe has so loved a well-rotted corpse." He was a member of the Lovecraft circle, and Smith's literary friendship with H. P. Lovecraft lasted from 1922 until Lovecraft's death in 1937. His work is marked chiefly by an extraordinarily wide and ornate vocabulary, a cosmic perspective and a vein of sardonic and sometimes ribald humor.
Clark Ashton Smith Poems
The Hashish Eater -Or- The Apocalypse Of...
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams; I crown me with the million-colored sun Of secret worlds incredible, and take Their trailing skies for vestment when I soar,
In Averoigne the enchantress weaves Weird spells that call a changeling sun, Or hale the moon of Hecate Down to the ivy-hooded towers.
To The Sun
Thy light is an eminence unto thee And thou art upheld by the pillars of thy strength. Thy power is a foundation for the worlds: They are builded thereon as upon a lofty rock
Now were the Titans gathered round their king In a waste region slipping toward the verge Of drear extremities that clasp the world— A land half-moulded by the hasty gods,
Dearest, today I found A lonely spot, such as we two have loved, Where two might lie upon Favonian ground Peering to faint horizons far-removed:
O perfect love, unhoped-for, past despair! I had not thought to find Your face betwixt the terrene earth and air: But deemed you lost in fabulous old lands
Walled with far azures of the wintering year, Late autumn on a windless altar burns; Splendid as rubies from Sabean urns, A holocaust of hues is gathered here.
Perseus And Medusa
I met her mirrored stare: The cycles of stone glories Locked in the Gorgon's glare.
Thy beauty is the warmth and languor of an orient autumn, Caressing all the senses— With light from skies of heavy azure, With perfume from blossoms large as thuribles,
By what digit of the moon Shall I question, late or soon, Your shoal-green eyes?
A Dead City
Twilight ascends the abandoned ramps of noon Within an ancient land, whose after-time Unfathomably shadows its ruined prime. Like rising mist the night increases soon
A Vision Of Lucifer
I saw a shape with human form and face, If such should in apotheosis stand: Deep in the shadows of a desolate land His burning feet obtained colossal base,
Berries Of The Deadly Nightshade
Black are the berries Laden with slumber Of nights that have no number.
A voice cried to me in a dawn of dreams, Saying, 'Make haste: the webs of death and birth Are brushed away, and all the threads of earth Wear to the breaking; spaceward gleams
Sweet Lesbia,when our love is done,
Leave no reproachful shade or blot,
No least reproof, on all or aught
That made us twain, that made us one.
Say only, love has lived his hour
Blameless as any rose's bloom:
And faultless now his fated doom
As is the dying of the flower.