Ultima Thule

Ultima Thule

by Davis McCombs

Paperback(New Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300083170
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 03/11/2000
Series: Yale Series of Younger Poets
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 72
Sales rank: 825,593
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One

Salts Cave


We slip the constant fifty-four
with ninety-eight point six, ten of us,
in the wobbling balance of lantern light.
We rattle and clink over breakdown
into rough-edged canyon, the cave
still holding a river's shape as it narrows
and deepens. And still the signs of life:
cane torches, half a gourd bowl,
and human feces — cold two thousand years.
They came here mining salts, the limestone walls
scripted with gypsum, epsomite, mirabilite.
We choose our steps, careful to leave no sign
of passing. Near Mummy Valley a flat slab
propped upright and markings — turtle?
dancing figure? map of the cave?
Twenty centuries and only one moment
when burnt torch end scraped limestone.
Mark, record, leave behind,
trace of what held heat, what is mine.

Table of Contents

Foreword by W. S. Merwinix
Acknowledgmentsxiii
I. ULTIMA THULE
Candlewriting3
Star Chamber4
Visitations5
Bottomless Pit6
Echo River7
Shadow World8
Cartography9
Cave Formation10
Doctor Croghan11
Brush Fire12
Indian Mummy13
The Church14
Dripstone15
Tuberculosis Sanitarium16
Tours17
River18
The Others19
Fame20
Ultima Thule21
II. THE RIVER AND UNDER THE RIVER
Ponds25
SaltsCave26
Cave Wind27
Moonbow28
Sinking Stream29
Floyd's Lost Passage31
Kentucky33
April Fifth, Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Three35
Watermelons36
Freemartin37
Flowstone38
The River and Under the River39
III. THE DARK COUNTY
Dismantling the Cave Gate43
June44
Farming45
Broken Country46
Solution Cave47
Premonitions48
Comet Hale-Bopp49
Pushing a Lead50
Stephen Bishop's Grave51
Cave Mummies52

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Ultima Thule 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
audraj on LibraryThing 11 months ago
It was beautifully layered and wonderfully irritating.