Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO A SNAIL, by MARIANNE MOORE



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TO A SNAIL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: If 'compression is the first grace of style'
Last Line: In the curious phenomenon of your occipital horn.
Subject(s): Snails


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.





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