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“That sunny dome! those caves of ice!”: Hunting Bison in Modernist Caves

Abstract painting of ice in muted tones
Fig. 1. Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Upper Glacier, 1950, oil on canvas, 62.9 × 39.4 cm, British Council. Courtesy of the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust.

In the autumn of 1941, David Jones is carving “bison in the caves of ice” into a hurried single-page fragment, one of the early “experiments” which would, a decade later, yield his late modernist epic poem The Anathemata.[1] Before the final manuscript’s publication in 1952, both the bison and their ice caves will disappear from Jones’s drafts, their meltwater pooling in the footnotes where Jones anticipates the end of the world:

There are freezings-up and convulsions of many kinds, there are ‘ends’ of all sorts of ‘worlds’, as we in our age have reason to understand. There are also new beginnings and freeings of the waters. (The Anathemata, 58)

For Jones, these are all “ends” by natural causes and, still in the flood of his footnotes, he cites Christopher Dawson’s The Age of the Gods, first published 1928, in which contemporary discussions of a “cycle of climatic change” are compared to Aristotle’s theory of the alternating “Great Summer” and “Great Winter” (54). Dawson explains these slow seasons as the “rhythmic movement” of geological time, the process by which mountains “rise from the floor of ancient seas” and melt like “snow wreaths under the sun.” It is the vertical displacement of this movement that is critical to Jones’s vision of the “‘ends’ of all sorts of ‘worlds,’” a cyclic model of deep time as high time.[2]

By “high time” I mean now, spanning both senses of the natural time at which something should be done and the time at which it is already too late. To ask how modernism, from the high to the late, might have been beginning to consider this contradiction is to also ask how we might reconcile it: what should be done when it is already too late?

Between the rediscovery of Font-de-Gaume cave in 1901 and Lascaux in 1940, the majority of Europe’s known cave art is unearthed and the bright herd of bison on the ceiling of the caves in Altamira, dismissed as forgeries since their discovery in 1879 by nine-year-old María de Sautuola, are acknowledged as the first modern encounter with Paleolithic painting. The opening of the caves perforates the Anglo-American modernist imagination, the artists who descend into these dark galleries seeing bison as they were seen tens of thousands of years ago by another artist. As Hugh Kenner puts it, the modern “now lay flat, transparent, upon not-now” on the cave wall.[3] Kenner connects T. S. Eliot’s visit to Font-de-Gaume in 1919 with the poet’s vision of art’s “simultaneous order” the same year, proposing that the atemporal enclosure of attention defining New Criticism is modeled on the cave.[4] Certainly, what Jones calls the “inward continuities / of the site” are continuities with both the cave and with Eliot, with whose support Jones writes The Anathemata; Jones later admits that “without Tom, [it] would probably not have been accepted.”[5]

I: High Cave

Jones’s 1941 “experiment” in writing the opening section to The Anathemata locates the ice caves at the center of a human-made world, where art and glacial erosion are both the “finger-worked” forces of “man’s / hand who works as the great waters very / slow”:

Or set this in paste

carefully or (to leaf the centuries)

his coaxing stroke on stroke to turn the

escaping contour in the blue St Victoire or (to

double-back on time) his free incision

to run flank & hoof for a foreshortened

bison in the caves of ice, or, to come home

(you know him in the tram) who cripples his

eye at lense [sic.] under the small pool of light,

crabbed, bent, with a coblers’ [sic.] hunch on him,

in small hours, with steel point manuevering [sic.]

the bright copper-disc under gas-flame or candle flame

in the small urban upper-room where he makes

the image, beats into the material the word.[6]

As if they are contemporaries sharing a studio in deep time, the fragment imagines Paul Cézanne moving mountains with his paintbrush in polysyndetic parallelism with the Paleolithic painter in his “caves of ice” and an engraver materializing “the word” in metal, each “stroke on stroke” of oil on canvas or “steel point” on copper building those “flat, transparent” layers of Kenner’s “now” into a laminate material. Such a material proposes a monolithic mankind, the span of that problematically singular “man’s / hand” the measure by which the term “Anthropocene” is now both critically understood and understandably criticized. This material supposes a reader might “leaf” back through “the centuries” as if through a book, but there is also a sense in which Jones’s “leaf” is in bud, the space of this fragment’s “small urban upper-room” overlapping with the “floriate green-room” in the final manuscript, the artists offstage in an evergreen waiting room (The Anathemata, 63). Jones suspends the ability “(to leaf the centuries)” or “(to double-back on time)” in parenthesis, the space of the aside expanding to a deep-time centrifuge for the critic Thomas Dilworth who represents the structure of The Anathemata doubling-back through “eight parentheses bracketing the lyric center”:

( ( ( ( ( ( ( (  O  ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ).[7]

Matthew Griffiths revises Dilworth’s diagram from the concentric to eccentric, or what he proposes might be “ecocentric,” arguing that the poem remains “open and responsive” in the wake of the opening section’s “planetary ‘O’”:

O ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ).[8]

Yet Griffiths’s “open” reading might also be read as a model of closure, the sixteen closing brackets echoing through endless endings. If the opening “O” might resemble the mouth of a cave, it is from this position we can look again into the “upper-room” where Jones is beginning to consider the artists’ complicity in the “finger-worked” acceleration of endings in the image of the “foreshortened bison,” the perspective drawing the animals at once closer and to a premature close.

By November 1941, the “caves of ice” have already melted from Jones’s manuscript but the bison survive, their “flank & hoof” flattened to a “bulk & linear” outline in the second draft’s “caves of dolomite.”[9] The cave painter’s “free incision” in the first draft becomes “the considered / incisions” made “already & first of all” by the second.[10] As Jones cuts in fragments from other experiments and cuts out the bison entirely, he arrives at the opening lines of The Anathemata where the reader will “already and first of all discern him,” the priest who “shapes” the word into material (The Anathemata, 49). Writing to William Blissett in 1967, Jones explains that post-impressionist art, making “not an ‘impression’ of ‘nature’ but a made ‘thing,’” performs the same “human poiesis” as the transubstantiation of language during the Catholic Mass.[11] This equivalence between art and sacrament as human making explains how it is the post-impressionist Cézanne, of all artists, who occupies the deep space of the “upper-room” in the drafts and moments before the priest enters. More than this, it is the equivalence between the “upper-room” and those melted “caves of ice” which demonstrates how “human poiesis” is, for Jones, also a continuous attempt at a human (re)making of “nature,” not as an “impression” but as a material “thing” that will survive the maker’s own natural end.

In his preface to The Anathemata, Jones writes that the poet who may be “pre-eminently ‘contemporary’ and indeed ‘of the future,’ was also of all artists the most of site and place” (26). The Anathemata is a complicatedly site-specific text, composed “‘in the time of the Mass’”—a time that Dilworth estimates to be only seven seconds—but written outside of it, back in the poet’s own “upper-room” (Jones, The Anathemata, 31; Dilworth, Reading David Jones, 176). Leo Mellor recounts how Jones would often refer to his rented rooms in London as his “dugouts,” the site of his writing buried in the language of the trenches.[12] It is in late 1944 that the “upper-room,” busy with artists, disappears, but in the 1952 publication the same space is occupied by the priest who speaks as if from a “high-room” and the apostles climbing to the “high nave” which, within five lines, echoes in the “high cave” (Jones, The Anathemata, 52–53).

To understand how the coordinates of “site and place” in Jones’s drafts determine how he thinks “of the future,” we must plot how these sites’ heights chime with ideas of “high time.” The “high-room” is a space “in- / delibly marked by locale and incidence,” simultaneously “not on any hill / but on this hill” and “among the altitudes” of several sites in superposition (53). Moving through material states but fixed in elevation, the room reopens in the “high hill-water” and the “high hollow” of Llyn Idwal, a lake in Snowdonia’s Glyderau mountains formed by glacial erosion, as Jones notes before he pulls up a chair (the “high sêt”) above the “hypogeum,” which, to the ear, sounds another “high” note while leading the eye lower, hypogeum arriving out of the Greek “hypo” for under and “gē” for earth, to a subterranean room (66, 67). If I might guide the reader’s eye lower, this compression of height within depth (and the kind of willful mishearing that finds height in “hypo”) is concentrated in the footnotes, where Jones offers phonetic mistranslations of Welsh into English of “Carneddau” (cairns) and “ogofau” (caves). The Carneddau mountains, representing the largest area of high ground in Wales and England, Jones renders as “carn-neth-ei, neth as in nether, ei as in height, accent on middle syllable,” emphasizing the depths within the heights. While for similar pronunciations he renders this sound as the “i in wine,” with “ogofau,” he sounds out “og-of-ei, ei as in height,” again folding under over (54).

The significance of these high hollows is that, like Jones’s own “upper-room” dugout, they constitute a kind of hyper-hypogeum, at once super- and subterranean. The quantum properties of the “caves of ice” are best illustrated by Jones’s contemporary, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, who, after climbing the Upper Grindelwald Glacier in 1949, wanted to “combine in a work all angles at once, from above, through and all around,” producing a series of paintings that bend the heights, depths, and imagined interiors of the Upper Glacier into the hyperbolic geometry of Jones’s “upper-room.”[13] Barns-Graham, whose work in this period connects with the stereometry (measuring material things) of the Abstraction-Création group, described this as the “total experience” of the glacier, one that is inextricable from her experience of watching it melt. She recounts how “in a few days a thinness could become a hole,” accelerating the “rhythmic movement” of Dawson’s “climatic change,” mountains washing into the “ancient seas” before human eyes (Barns-Graham to the Tate Gallery, 105). Barns-Graham continues to carve the cave out of the ice, especially in the more transparently titled Blue Cave (1950) and Ice Cavern (1951), but it is the thinness of the graphite lines and the thinner layers of her icy blue oils in “Upper Glacier” (fig. 1) that most clearly collapse the whole into the hole or—to invert Kenner’s model—the “now” into the “now-not.”

For Jones, this points towards what he calls, both in his poem and in the footnotes below, the “final catastrophe,” the apocalyptic collapse of height into depth when “the bent flanks of space itself give way” and “‘Snowdon’s peak is one with the plain’” (The Anathemata, 68). While this might be read as hyperbole, Jones’s high hollows are all, both literally and less so, “freezings” and “freeings” of those initial “caves of ice” and it follows that if “man’s / hand who works as the great waters,” these waters might “freeze” and “free” as quickly as the human hand or the human handling of catastrophe (58). It is within Jones’s imagining of this extinction event that we catch sight again of the “flank & hoof” of the bison in those “bent flanks” of a world flattened to its eschatological horizon. The hunt resumes.

II: Drawing Blood

The first sighting of a bison’s “flank” in the final version of The Anathemata is in the opening stanzas, where “the flanks are turned” and immediately “liquidated,” the remains of the first draft’s bison washing up as “dead symbols” (Jones, The Anathemata, 50). To continue searching for body parts, the flank’s accompanying “hoof” leaves no print but its painterly abstraction in the second draft’s “bulk & linear” remains, recording the bison’s disappearance outside the cave:

And see how they run, the juxtaposed forms,

brighting the vaults of Lascaux; how the linear is wedded
to volume, how they do, within, in an unbloody manner,
under the forms of brown haematite and black manganese on
the graved lime-face, what is done, without,

                            far on the windy tundra

at the kill

that the kindred may have life. (60)

The reader straining to “see how they run” might instead hear the bison running to the tune of Three Blind Mice, the carving knife cutting off more than their tails. Writing to Harman Grisewood in 1971, Jones declares Lascaux’s “great horned creatures with a dart or two depicted in flank or neck” to be the “nearest thing” to what he termed the “inutile” (or, more commonly in his writing, “extra-utile”), while “outside on the bitter tundra the great beasts fall before the highly utile spears.”[14] Jones’s category of the extra-utile overlaps with his definition of “human poiesis” or, as he renders it here, the “unbloody manner” of symbolic making. The capacity to wield the “utile spear” alongside the extra-utile “brown haematite”—one to kill and one to draw the sign of the killing—was, Jones proposed, reason to think the human “sacramental animal” has “some part in a without-endness.”[15] Identified only by the abstraction of tonal “forms” or the moment’s metonym of “the kill,” Jones’s bison instead represents the animal’s within-endness, endlessly still running with a “dart or two depicted” and endlessly extinct.

The bison “brighting the vaults of Lascaux” in The Anathemata are the extinct steppe bison (Bison priscus) whose descendants, the European bison (Bison bonasus) and the American bison (Bison bison), continued to be hunted to the brink of extinction by the start of the twentieth century. Following increased poaching during the First World War, the last wild European bison was shot in 1927 and, following the American Civil War, the availability of men, weapons, and expanding railways facilitated what Andrew C. Isenberg describes as the federal government’s “policy of ecological destruction,” killing millions of American bison as part of a program of colonial violence that forced Indigenous peoples into reservations.[16] By 1883, the bison population numbered in the hundreds, with small herds surviving in ever smaller areas of land marked on the Smithsonian Institution’s 1887 map in concentric bands as if charting the contours of high ground left by rising waters.

Lined Map of North America
Fig. 2. William T. Hornaday, “The Extermination of the American Bison, with a Sketch of its Discovery and Life History,” Annual Report of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, 1887 2 (Washington, 1889), 367–548.

While Jones’s syntax suspends the bison uneasily between two deaths, it also connects what the artists (in a tense without end) “do, within” the cave and what the hunters have “done, without” the cave. Consequently, in the same way that the “linear is wedded to volume,” or the representational to the real, we might question how “unbloody” language (here not in the sense of the Eucharist but of ecology) is “wedded” to a bloody landscape.

In her 1934 poem “The Buffalo,” Marianne Moore traces the “bloody” line of pigments on the cave wall, asking if the “hematite- / black incurved compact horns on a bison / have significance?”[17] Her reference to the painter’s material petrifies the bison’s horn into the mineral, as if the significance of the American bison is that it walks the plains as a living fossil of the bison drawn in caves in Europe. In both Europe and North America, early twentieth-century conservation efforts maintained bison in zoos and parks, but, within the United States, the bison’s recovery is particularly linked to its value as a charismatically unbloody memorial to a bloody conquest of European ideas of wilderness. Moore’s poem smudges an imaginary line from the “great extinct wild Aurochs” as “a beast / to paint” through artists’ representations of bison and ox to the water buffalo, listing the Hereford bull twice, first in John Steuart Curry’s 1932 graphite sketch “Ajax” and again in Thomas Rowlandson’s 1787 aquatint etching “The Overdrove Ox” (Moore, “The Buffalo”). Composed of iron oxide, hematite derives its name from the Greek haima for blood, hematite meaning “like blood,” and, continuous with that “incurved” line of hematite on the cave wall, Moore traces not a bloodline but a hand-drawn line of, as she puts it in the poem, no less bloody “human notions.”

Jones attributes the unbloody “without-endness” of art to the site of its making, or what he calls the thisness of “all the haeccieties from Lascaux to now.” He proposes that such specificities might include “““[a] chorus-ending from Euripides,” certainly, but skiffle no less … and Nautilus under the Arctic floor of ice.”[18] Here, Jones’s recollection of a line from Robert Browning’s 1855 poem “Bishop Blougram’s Apology” meets with the midcentury revival of skiffle music in Britain, and Operation Sunshine, the first transit of a submarine under the North Pole by the U.S.S. Nautilus (SSN-571) on August 3, 1958. Each of these, Jones writes, are “all that gives any meaning to the Mass” and, indeed, the site of Jones’s own writing, dated “Gwyl Elen Ymerodres, 1958,” the feast day of St. Helena on the August 18, two weeks after the Nautilus crossed the “floor of ice.”

Significantly, the Nautilus was the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, completing its 96-hour journey without surfacing in order to demonstrate the capabilities of a U.S. Navy submarine-launched ballistic missiles system to the Soviet Union, who had launched Sputnik the previous year. As a specific thisness of Jones’s site of writing, the Nautilus has already surfaced northeast of Greenland, its buoyant chamber rising above and diving below the ice on its transatlantic return, a radioactive steel hyper-hypogeum that is both propelled by and propelling the mutually-assured “ends” of the Cold War.

Less specifically, but no less significantly, the submarine shares its name with two species of cephalopod: the chambered nautilus, swimming in a spiral shell and in increasingly smaller numbers as sea temperatures and trafficking threaten the species with extinction, and the paper nautilus, in whose calcite egg case Moore dreams of dwelling, once complaining: “I don’t know where I should like to live unless in a nautilus shell.”[19] In her poem “The Paper Nautilus,” first published as “A Glass-Ribbed Nest,” Moore imagines the interior of its “thin glass shell” as a floating writer’s room, as “glossy as the sea” and as bloodlessly transparent.[20] In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard describes the porous enclosure of imaginative practice as the chambered shell which, for him, constitutes a “sort of animal cave.”[21] Under continuous construction from the inside out and continuous destruction from the outside in, the shell’s exterior is secreted from the mollusk’s interior mantle in layers of calcium carbonate, the same mineral precipitating on the cave wall, modeling the space in which Bachelard houses the “dreaming” or poiesis of human making as a portable and provisional “cave.” A body continuous with its environment, Bachelard’s self-made and self-making “animal cave” combines thisness with thinness, clarifying how the caves of the human “sacramental animal” are also continuous with the conditions of their making, where the “bloody” promise of the U.S.S. Nautilus might glide under the floor of the “high nave” in the middle of Mass at the same moment Jones imagines himself writing the “unbloody” poem. Within the synchronicity of “high time,” Jones configures the cave as both a solid and soluble site where animal, mineral, and manual marks might be simultaneously deeply layered and “liquidated” to a destructive flood which Jones goes on to describe as the “utile infiltration [. . .] coming through each door” (The Anathemata, 50). While Jones implies art might have some compensatory function, he also queries what an artist can “do, within” their work when what is “done, without” leaks through. To track the bison deeper into the water, we must follow Moore’s own descent into the “caves of ice.”

III. High Tide

In July 1922, Moore visited the caves of ice in the Nisqually glacier, documenting in her notebook her disappearance into “[a]n octopus / of ice – a stranded iceberg,” beginning again twenty-two pages later: “An octopus of ice / so cool in this age of violence.”[22] As the “iceberg” dissolves into “this age of violence,” its first line undergoes Jones’s “final catastrophe,” with Moore levelling the 4,392-meter peak of Mount Rainier to “[a]n Octopus / of ice – Deceptively reserved and flat” by the poem’s publication in The Dial in 1924. By the end of the twentieth century, the ice caves of Paradise, Washington have melted, as they do at the end of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” where “caves of ice!” melt through the enclosed rhymes in the fragment’s final stanza to “the milk of Paradise.”[23]

Coleridge’s “sunny dome! those caves of ice!” form during his 1797 visit to Devon’s Valley of Rocks, where repeated periglacial “freezings” and “freeings” has shaped layers of limestone and slate into the valley’s “deep romantic chasm” (The Anathemata, 58). Coleridge’s “caves of ice” collapse process into product, his poiesis modeling an “[e]nfolding” geometry which continues to compress human and more-than-human timescales in the modernist cave. Coleridge’s ”caverns measureless to man” accommodate the same hyperbolic geometry that Barns-Graham attempts to paint. Moore also renders the “manganese blue interior” of the glacier with painterly tones but, as she does when shading the horns of “The Buffalo,” she selects the cave painter’s materials, tinting the ice the color of what Jones calls the “beasts in manganese” from Lascaux.[24] While manganese might not stain the ice as brightly as blood-like hematite, the mineral traces in Moore’s glacier insist that anything artists might “do, within” the cave might mark the wider landscape. Where the modernist katabasis enters into sublime measurelessness, it holds up the universal “man’s / hand,” as Jones’s “experiment” has it, and would obscure those hands which have already marked the “great waters,” were it not for that blur of unbloody blue.

The American photographer Minor White contests that if film had been developed instead of painting from hematite and manganese in the dark room of the cave, language would have materialized as a visual system. Art instead became “so slow” it was reserved solely for “holy dynamics” until, White writes, humanity re-entered the cave in 1880 (“the year that gelatin was introduced”).[25] White was introduced to photography at the age of eighteen in 1927, when he was tasked with processing photomicrograph transparencies of algae at the University of Minnesota and his work continued to explore the suspension of life in bodies of water throughout his life.[26] His final work, Totemic Sequence, completed in 1974, was produced by recording water on rock at different times of day, with White attributing the “visual origin” of this project to seeing a photograph of a cave painting in “about 1960,” although he describes having “caught glimpses elsewhere.”[27]

One “glimpse” may have been caught as early as 1951, in California, at a moment in White’s practice when he was incorporating text into his picture making. Writing to Nancy Newhall in April 1951, White describes stopping at Point Lobos, California to find the beach “hopelessly buried” under a high tide and “the symbols swept into my eyes as the waves raced into [t]he coves.”[28] These symbols, White clarifies, “have no existence outside of my blood,” but in August that year, he returns to draw the bloody symbol out, freezing the water washing into the hollows and higher concretions of the Carmelo Formation’s sandstone into what appears, to this search party at least, to be the flank and hoof of a bison.

Close up photograph of ice
Fig. 3. Minor White, Pebble Beach, Point Lobos State Park, California, August 16, 1951, gelatine silver print, 25.4 × 32.3 cm, The Minor White Archive, Princeton University Art Museum.

Writing at the end of 1952, White attempts to explain what he calls the “revitalization” of rock, clarifying that it is only ever achieved in “human terms,” the photograph layering a “poetic experience to the surface” of a rock which is neither alive nor a poem.[29] Yet, three days after watching “rocks become as transparent as the water” at Lobos in August 1951, White writes that, looking up from his lens, “the vision of the beach was so strange—to see it as a human was strange.”[30] White’s vision is reflected in Padraic Colum’s poem “The Bison,” published the same summer Eliot is said to have encountered the bison in Font-de-Gaume, simultaneously petrifying and liquifying the “[e]arth-shape” breath of the bison to a lake deep enough to “drown” both land and the sky:

A lake of majesty!

The lion’s drowns in it:

And thy placidity—

A moon within that lake![31]

If Jones’s bison have come to rest in White’s rock pool, both their breath and death is, as Colum writes, “[e]arth-shape[d],” each high tide touching its “revitalized” body to the skin of other bodies of water. These might include Moore’s “octopus / of ice,” or even her musk ox, the bison’s Arctic relative which “smells of water, nothing else” and all of Jones’s wider “transmontane / transmarine” landscapes (The Anathemata, 69).[32] The seconds-long duration of The Anathemata is closer to the instant of the photograph than it is to the years Barns-Graham spent painting the blue caverns. However, to see the “revitalization” of the cave painter’s bison in the rock pool—and indeed the hollow in the rock as a space for other forms of vitality—has more to do with White’s “strange” or nonhuman vision of deep time at high tide.

Georges Bataille is perhaps not best known for his 1955 study Lascaux: Or, The Birth of Art, but his was the first publication to include full-color photographs of the Lascaux bison, documenting what he called the “inhuman strangeness” of representations of the nonhuman world.[33] In 1948, when he is making repeated visits to the caves, Bataille writes that “every animal is in the world like water in water,” while humans imagine themselves as the only swimmers in the wash of the world.[34] Yet in the “revitalization” of the bison from the water, White experiences his unmaking as a human maker, describing his practice of returning to a site as a process of “taking from it mirror images, beauty, whatever was there / now I took nothing.” Here, White tilts himself over the threshold of the slash from high priest to recipient: “I looked and received. Identification / communion.”[35] Importantly, White’s communion is not so much holy but holistic, a collaborative intimacy, a complicity.

Where Jones imagines communion with his own maker (“himself not made”), it is a summoning “from our co-laterals out, to dance the Funeral Games of the Great Mammalia,” his setting of “collaterals” as “co-laterals” insisting on the reciprocity of a horizon which comes for all the inhabitants of the “upper-room” at the same time (The Anathemata, 63). As Jones, Barns-Graham, Moore, and White enter into the high hollows of their own making, the stakes of making alter, the “sunny dome!” melting the “caves of ice!” and thinning the distance between the question of art’s unbloody “not-now” and how art might be responsible to the bloody “now.” In hunting for the bison in the caves of ice, we find ourselves in the world like water in water.


[1] David Jones, The Anathemata: Fragments of an Attempted Writing (London: Faber & Faber, 2010), 14.

[2] Christopher Dawson, The Age of the Gods: A Study in the Origins of Culture in Prehistoric Europe and the Ancient East (London: Murray, 1928), 4.

[3] Hugh Kenner, The Pound Era (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), 30.

[4] T. S. Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” The Egoist 6, no. 4 (1919): 54–55, 55.

[5] The Anathemata, 90; David Jones, August 24, 1972, in Thomas Dilworth, “T. S. Eliot and David Jones,” The Sewanee Review 102, no. 1 (1994): 70–85, 74.

[6] National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, David Jones Papers, LR8/6.1, [1941]. Reproduced with the kind permission of the Trustees of the David Jones Estate and Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru/The National Library of Wales.

[7] Thomas Dilworth, Reading David Jones (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2008), 177.

[8] Matthew Griffiths, The New Poetics of Climate Change: Modernist Aesthetics for a Warming World (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), 139.

[9] National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, David Jones Papers, LR8/6.3 [1941].

[10] National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, David Jones Papers, LA1/3.1 [1937-38], with deep thanks to the archival mapping of the “caves of ice” in Paul Stanbridge, “The Making of David Jones’s Anathemata” (PhD diss., University of East Anglia, 2011), 154–63.

[11] David Jones to William Blissett, June 11–12, 1967, in The Long Conversation: A Memoir of David Jones (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981), 45.

[12] Leo Mellor, Reading the Ruins: Modernism, Bombsites and British Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 148.

[13] Wilhelmina Barns-Graham to the Tate Gallery, 1965, in Lynne Green, W. Barns-Graham: A Studio Life (London: Lund Humphries, 2011), 105.

[14] David Jones to Harman Grisewood, September 4, 1971, in Dai Greatcoat: A Self-Portrait of David Jones in His Letters, ed. René Hague (London: Faber & Faber, 2015), 232–33.

[15] David Jones, “Art and Sacrament,” in Epoch and Artist: Selected Writings, ed. Harman Grisewood (London: Faber & Faber, 2013), 164–65.

[16] Lidia V. Zablotskaya, Mikhail A. Zablotsky and Marina M. Zablotskaya, “Origin of the Hybrids of North American and European Bison in the Caucasus Mountains,” in European Bison: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, ed. Zdzisław Pucek (Gland: IUCN, 2004), 49; Andrew C. Isenberg, “Toward a Policy of Destruction: Buffaloes, Law, and the Market, 1803–83,” Great Plains Quarterly 12, no. 4 (1992): 227–41, 236.

[17] Marianne Moore, “The Buffalo,” Poetry 45, no. 2 (1934): 61–64.

[18] David Jones, “Preface,” in Epoch and Artist, ed. Grisewood, 14.

[19] Marianne Moore to Warner Moore, November 13, 1910, The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore, ed. Bonnie Costello, Celeste Goodridge, and Christanne Miller (New York: Knopf, 1997), 86. Present in the fossil records of the Pleistocene, the chambered nautilus was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2018: Federal Register 83, no. 189 (2018): 48976–85.

[20] Marianne Moore, “A Glass-Ribbed Nest,” Kenyon Review 2 (Summer 1940): 287–88.

[21] Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans. Maria Jolas (New York: Penguin, 2014), xxxviii.

[22] Rosenbach Museum and Library, Marianne Moore Collection, 1251/7, “Poetry Notebook VII.04.04,” [1922], 6, 28.

[23] Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan: Or, A Vision in a Dream” in The Complete Poems, ed. William Keach (London: Penguin, 1997), 250–52.

[24] Marianne Moore, Observations, ed. Linda Leavell (London: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016), 85; David Jones, A Note on Mr. Berenson’s Views,” in Epoch and Artist, ed. Grisewood, 291.

[25] Minor White, “The 4 R’s and the Cave Man,” Aperture 4, no. 3 (1956): 83–84.

[26] Peter C. Bunnell, Minor White: The Eye That Shapes (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Art Museum, 1989), 1–13, 1.

[27] Minor White, “Totemic Sequence 1974,” in Bunnell, Minor White, 232.

[28] Minor White to Nancy Newhall, April 29, 1951, in Bunnell, Minor White, 28.

[29] Minor White, December 31, 1952, in Bunnell, Minor White, 29.

[30] Minor White, August 19, 1951, in Bunnell, Minor White, 53.

[31] Padraic Colum, “The Bison,” Poetry 14, no. 4 (1919): 186.

[32] Marianne Moore, “The Arctic Ox,” The New Yorker (September 13, 1958): 40.

[33] Georges Bataille, Lascaux: Or, The Birth of Art: Prehistoric Painting, trans. Austryn Wainhouse (Geneva: Skira, 1955), 11.

[34] Georges Bataille, Theory of Religion, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Zone Books, 1992), 18–19.

[35] Minor White, August 19, 1951, in Bunnell, Minor White, 53.