Summer 1940 • Vol. II No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1940 |

A Glass-Ribbed Nest

 For authorities whose hopesare shaped by mercenaries? Writers entrapped by teatime fame and bycommuters’ comforts? Not for these the paper nautilusconstructs her thin glass shell.  Giving her perishablesouvenir of hope, a dull white outside and smooth- edged inner side asglossy as the sea, the watchful animal takes charge of it herself and scarcely  leaves it till the eggs are hatched.Buried eight-fold in her eight arms, for she is in a sense a devil-fish, her glass ramshorn-cradled freight is hid but is not crushed. As Hercules, bitten  by a crab loyal to the hydra,was hindered to succeed, the intensively watched eggs coming fromthe shell, free it when they are freed,— leaving its wasp-nest flaws of white on white, and close-laid Ionic chiton-foldslike the lines in the mane of a Parthenon horse, round which the arms hadwound themselves as if they knew love is the only fortress strong enough to trust to.

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Marianne Moore published multiple books of poetry. She won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Bollingen Prize. Her poems appeared in the Nation, the New Republic, Partisan Review, and the New Yorker.

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 For authorities whose hopesare shaped by mercenaries? Writers entrapped by teatime fame and bycommuters’ comforts? Not for these the paper nautilusconstructs her thin glass shell.  Giving her perishablesouvenir of hope, a dull white outside […]

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