The Icosasphere

Marianne Moore

'In Buckinghamshire hedgerows
   the birds nesting in the merged green density,
      weave little bits of string and moths and feathers
   and thistledown,
          in parabolic concentric curves'
   and, working for concavity, leave spherical feats
    of rare efficiency;
       whereas through lack of integration,

avid for someone's fortune,
   three were slain and ten committed perjury,
      six died, two killed themselves, and two paid
    fines for risks they'd run.
            But then there is the icosasphere
   in which at last we have steel-cutting at its
                  summit of economy,
       since twenty triangles conjoined, can wrap one

ball or double-rounded shell
   with almost no waste, so geometrically
       neat, it's an icosahedron.  Would the engineers
                    making one,
            or Mr. J. O. Jackson tell us
   how the Egyptians could have set up seventy-eight-
                   foot solid granite vertically?
       We should like to know how that was done.

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