Parable of Hope/Mountains of Madness

I know I know what your thinking; isn't this just a bit of plagarism? I mean, this poem is just the text of Mountains of Madness, the H.P. Lovecraft novel. That position overlooks the edits and alterations that have been made to the text. Perhaps the biggest job was cutting out the second and third adjectives and adverbs cluttering the text. Think what you will about Lovecraft's racism, as a writer he had a vivid sense of the motion of a text, and the affects that could be achieved by that motion. He also either did not trust himself, and tarted everything up with unnecessary flourishes and 'color' or he was a big windbag.

Bob Ducca is a very inspirational man and if you google his name I'm sure you'll find some fitting introduction to his wisdom. When I hear him reach his poetry my head swims and for a moment I feel I am back among the smoke and street-cars of 20's Paris.

Parable of Hope for Bob Ducca from H.P. Lovecraft’s Mountains of Madness

Arranged by Michael Newton


We had risen Gradually

Flying over the higher foothills and along

Towards the relatively low pass

As we advanced We occasionally looked down

The terrain the crevasses the glaciers, wind-bared passes,

and the other bad spots

mystery beckoning in the sea of sky

archaic myths the winds swept in

the omnipresent and resonant cave-mouths

the touch of evil glimpsed betwixt their sound

as complex and unplaceable

As any of the other dark impressions.

no human eye had ever gazed those mountains of madness.

Unable to speak behold that realm

Disbelief in senses Finally saw

fiendish violation of known natural law


long before we had passed the great star

and reached our plane

these foothills black, ruin-crusted slopes reared Against the east,

reminding us of those strange Asian paintings

And Nicholas Roerch;

We could not face without panic

The prospect of again sailing by

Those cave-mouths where the wind made sounds

Keyed up to a dangerous nervous pitch We made takeoff Over the nightmare city The primal Cyclopean masonry spread

as it had done when we first saw it

and we began rising and turning

The ice-dust clouds of the zenith were doing all sorts of fantastic things

I tried to keep all my skill and self-possession about me,

And stared at the reddish farther sky Betwixt the walls of the pass,

Wishing I had wax-stopped ears Looking back,

Ahead, sidewise, and upward Began shrieking

Mad Close to disaster

(What final horror made him scream so insanely?)


Hinting that the final horror was a mirage…

Single, fantastic, daemoniac glimpse

Among the churning clouds

Memory had chance to draw

black pit, cavern rim, five dimensions, windowless solids, nameless cylinder, elder pharos, Yog-Sothoth, primal-white jelly, in darkness, out of space, wings, eyes, moon-ladder, the original, eternal, undying,

When fully himself he repudiates all this,

Attributes it to his curious and macabre reading…

But the higher sky was surely vaporous

And swirls of ice-dust do take strange forms,

And Imagination can sometimes be reflected,

Refracted, and magnified in

Layers of restless cloud,

But he never could have seen so much in one instant.

At the time his shrieks were confined to the repetition of a single mad word.

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