The Complete Poetry and Translations Volume 1: The Abyss Triumphant
Clark Ashton Smith was one of the most remarkable and distinctive American poets of the twentieth century. His tremendous output of poetry, totaling nearly 1000 original poems written over a span of more than fifty years, is of the highest craftsmanship and runs the gamut of subject matter from breathtaking "cosmic" verse about the stars and galaxies to plangent love poetry to pungent satire to delicate imitations of Japanese haiku. This edition prints, for the first time, Smith's entire poetic work, including hundreds of uncollected and unpublished poems. The poems have been arranged chronologically by date of writing, so far as can be ascertained. This first volume includes poetry from the first two to three decades of Smith's career, when he published such noteworthy volumes as The Star-Treader (1912), Ebony and Crystal (1922), and Sandalwood (1925). Smith's early work was written under the tutelage of the celebrated California poet George Sterling, but Smith quickly surpassed his mentor in the writing of cosmic and lyric verse. Smith's greatest poetic triumph, perhaps, was The Hashish-Eater, a poem of nearly 600 lines that strikingly evokes the myriad suns of unbounded space and the baleful monsters that may lurk therein. But Smith could also write such touching elegies as "Requiescat in Pace," a dirge for a woman whose death affected him deeply. All poems have been textually corrected by consultation with manuscripts and early appearances, and have been extensively annotated by editors S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz.
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