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The Abyss Triumphant

The Complete Poetry and Translations of Clark Ashton Smith: Book 1

Clark Ashton Smith

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This edition prints, for the first time, Smith's entire poetic work, including hundreds of uncollected and unpublished poems.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), andSandalwood (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.

The Wine of Summer

The Complete Poetry and Translations of Clark Ashton Smith: Book 2

Clark Ashton Smith

This 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-1920s, Smith began composing original poems in French, also translating them into English or translating his earlier English poems into French. Although Smith wrote relatively little verse during the period of his extensive writing of fantastic fiction (1929–35), he resumed work in the later 1930s, especially under the influence of his friends Eric Barker and Madelynne Greene, for whom he wrote the poetic cycle entitled The Hill of Dionysus. In the late 1940s he experimented with imitations of Japanese haiku, and in the 1950s, 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. In its entirety, Clark Ashton Smith's work stands as one of the great literary contributions to twentieth-century poetry.

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 volume also contains an exhaustive commentary on all the poems and a complete title and first line index.

The Flowers of Evil and Others

The Complete Poetry and Translations of Clark Ashton Smith: Book 3

Clark Ashton Smith

In addition to being a prolific and innovative poet in his own right, Clark Ashton Smith was a noted translator of French and Spanish poetry. Teaching himself French in the mid-1920s, Smith undertook the ambitious program of translating the entirety of Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil) into English.

Over the next several years he succeeded in translating all but six of the 157 poems that comprised the definitive (1868) edition of Les Fleurs du mal. Smith would begin with a relatively literal prose translation and would later render it into verse; in the end, Smith versified about a third of the poems, the rest remaining in prose.

His mentor George Sterling testified to the remarkable spiritual affinity between Smith and Baudelaire, rendering him the perfect translator of this difficult poet. Smith also translated other noteworthy French poets-Paul Verlaine, Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset, and Théophile Gautier, among others-as well as such obscure poets as Marie Dauguet and Tristan Klingsor. In the 1940s Smith taught himself Spanish, making splendid verse translations of such poets as Amado Nervo, Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, and and Jorge Isaacs. The great majority of the poems included in this volume are unpublished.

The current edition presents, for the first time, Smith's complete translations in French and Spanish, also printing the French and Spanish texts on facing pages. All texts are annotated by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz.