The slightest outward curve is entasis,
employed in ancient buildings by the Greeks
for reasons lost to us. The emphasis

was optical, explained Vitruvius,
but this does not account for the technique:
why are these steps and walls, these lines oblique?

Why do they advance, retreating, to embrace
the thing that stops them coming face to face?
And we the same, old bafflements in place,

as, no longer wed, but not yet free,
we view the edifice that once was we,
and entasis spins out to entropy.



A Message from the Editors

As a reader of our efforts, you have stood with us on the front lines in the battle for culture. Learn how your support contributes to our continued defense of truth.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 23 Number 2, on page 35
Copyright © 2021 The New Criterion |