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Thanks to a residency at EcoHealth, my verse these days finds inspiration in the specter of future pandemics; for my dissertation at LMU M√ľnchen, where I tutor composition and edit a poetry weekly, I'm anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson's sonnets—I also teach at MVHS and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.

20130117

The Altar


by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Alone, remote, nor witting where I went,
I found an altar builded in a dream--
A fiery place, whereof there was a gleam
So swift, so searching, and so eloquent
Of upward promise, that love's murmur, blent
With sorrow's warning, gave but a supreme
Unending impulse to that human stream
Whose flood was all for the flame's fury bent.

Alas! I said,--the world is in the wrong.
But the same quenchless fever of unrest
That thrilled the foremost of that martyred throng
Thrilled me, and I awoke ... and was the same
Bewildered insect plunging for the flame
That burns, and must burn somehow for the best.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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