Wednesday, April 27, 2016


To A Snail

 If "compression is the first grace of style,"

you have it. Contractility is a virtue

as modesty is a virtue.

It is not the acquisition of any one thing

that is able to adorn,

or the incidental quality that occurs

as a concomitant of something well said,

that we value in style,

but the principle that is hid:

in the absence of feet, "a method of conclusions":

"a knowledge of principles,"

in the curious phenomenon of your occipital horn.


M A R I A N N E     M O O R E
Penguin 2016
(first published in 1924)