Friday, June 01, 2018

The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.152: The Complete Poetry and Translations by Clark Ashton Smith

I’m not quite sure how I missed Hippocampus Press’ three volume set of Clark Ashton Smith’s The Complete Poetry and Translations, published back in 2012 - although of the classic Weird Tales triumvirate, I’ve always been more drawn to Lovecraft and Howard, with my interest in Smith being largely limited to his contributions to the Cthulhu mythos.

However, in the last five years or so I have become increasingly drawn to weird poetry and, after having the opportunity to hear and meet (albeit briefly) poet and Smith-afficianado Donald Sidney-Fryer at last year’s NecronomiCon, I’ve decided to further investigate Clark Ashton Smith’s poetry; and I have to admit that, whilst I was aware that Smith thought of himself primarily as a poet, I hadn’t realised that he had written so much of the stuff.

The first two volumes of this set contain Smith’s own varied verse (including the weird classic, The Hashish Eater), whilst the final volume contains his translations into English the work of various Spanish- and French-speaking poets - including Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal (which I haven’t read in many years). In any case, my plan is to immerse myself in the history of weird poetry during the Summer, which will hopefully involve delving more deeply into the contents of these wonderful tomes.

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