The Complete Poetry and Translations | Clark Ashton Smith
1307 pages (three volumes)
In its entirety, Clark Ashton Smith’s work stands as one of the great literary contributions to twentieth-century poetry. This edition prints, for the first time, Smith’s entire poetic work, including hundreds of uncollected and unpublished poems.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. 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. This edition also contains an exhaustive commentary on all the poems and a complete title and first line index.
Volume 1: The Abyss Triumphant
The 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.
Volume 2: The Wine of Summer
The second volume of Clark Ashton Smith’s complete original poetry contains the poems he wrote in the decades following the death in 1926 of his early mentor, George Sterling. Although much affected by Sterling’s passing, Smith carried on in his poetic work, seeking new modes of expression and expanding his range beyond the cosmic and lyrical verse that had dominated his early career. Having taught himself French in the mid-1920’s Smith began composing original poems in French. After focusing primarily on the writing of fantastic fiction from 1925–35, he resumed his poetic output with such masterworks as The Hill of Dionysus. In the late 1940’s he experimented with haiku, and in the 1950’s having taught himself Spanish, he wrote numerous original poems in Spanish. Also among his later output are a number of witty satires on the vagaries of modern poetry. This volume also includes indices of all of Smith's original poetry.
Clark Ashton Smith (1893–1961) is a towering figure in American poetry and in the literature of fantasy and horror. Born and raised in California, Smith early fell under the tutelage of George Sterling, and later established friendships with H. P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, Benjamin de Casseres, and other leading figures. His tales of exotic fantasy have achieved a worldwide audience, while his meticulously crafted poetry, published by Hippocampus Press in a complete edition for the first time, establishes him as a leading poetic voice in his time.