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‘In the Face of the Rising Sun’
Symbols by Robert E. Howard
© 2020 James LaFond
Reading from page 109 of A Word from the Outer Dark
I am quoting this entire short poem of Howard’s which is my favorite.
“Scarce had the east grown red with dawn
Or the moon-born day begun
Ere three of us went up a winding road
In the face of the rising sun.”
Not being a Robert E. Howard scholar, I do not know who these three people were, Robert and his parents, Robert and two friends, or Robert’s selves, the earner, the singer or the son. I am inclined to think that the “three of us,” are Robert and his friends and fellow writers Truett Vinson and Tevis Clyde Smith.
“One of us plucked a red rose
One of us plucked a white
One of us turned from the rising sun
And reached his hands to the night.”
Are we, here, in Howard’s weirdly glimpsed future, this distant and alienating place that he decided not to explore in the flesh, are we the children of this poet’s embraced night?
Is our world of weird hate and sheared nature, our well of moaning decadence, is it our reflection that he somehow embraced and mirrored in past-lit fantasies?
Might this weird poet have glimpsed our present and his possible future and lost interest in our simpering terminus?
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