Introduction to 'Shadows of Wings'

Clark Ashton Smith

A book of poems by Susan Myra Gregory

Susan Myra Gregory is of the true lineage of Sappho, which is not to say that her poems are in any wise imitative or derivative, in the literary sense of these words. Rather, it means that she has written with a peculiarly feminine grace, with beauty and melody and passion, and has suns of the simple, immemorial, esoteric things that have changed little, if at all, since the time of "the supreme head of song."

The elder gods have gone it is true - at least the scientists and religionists would agree that they are gone. But the moon and the sea remain, and the yellow violets of spring and the yellow leaves of autumn, and human love with its sadness and delight, and the sweet, intolerable sense of the brevity of our stay "between the sunlight and the grass." It is from these, and from other symbols of a like loveliness or pathos, that the gentle and wistful and often deeply poignant magic of this poet is derived. And while these things endure, and while there are hearts to hear and the wings of Eros in starlight or moonlight, and while there is still the red spark of Antares above the summer fields at evening, and the blue flame of Sirius over the winter wood, it seems impossible that such poetry as hers will not always have its lovers.

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