“Soon we had fashioned a rude boat,
and with lanterns affixed to the prow were ferrying tours across the smoky waters:
Styx, Lethe, Echo River, the host
of wonders I had found. By slapping
the water with the flat of my paddle,
there comes a sound like the ringing of bells,
a mournful, hollow melody—waves lap-
ping and beating under the low stone arches.
The voice, too, will reproduce in myriad;
often I have led a tour in song, shouts raised
or pistols fired on the dark, deep water.
Children of a clanging, squeaking world,
we cannot bear the silence.”
from Ultima Thule by Davis McCombs
I read this poem before starting work this morning and can’t stop thinking of it in light of today’s technology. Wondering if the voices reverberating throughout the Web are in some ways hollow and mournful, our last song and its echo before we perish.