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As the resident poet at EcoHealth, my verse finds inspiration these days in the spectre of global pandemics. At LMU Munich's Amerika-Institut, where I tutor composition and poetics, I'm anatomizing the sonnets of E. A. Robinson for my dissertation. I also teach at Münchner Volkshochschule and Amerikahaus.

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Lutea Allison


by Sir John Suckling

Si sola es, nulla es

Though you, Diana-like, have liv'd still chaste,
Yet must you not (fair) die a maid at last:
The roses on your cheeks were never made
To bless the eye alone, and so to fade;
Nor had the cherries on your lips their being,
To please no other sense than that of seeing:
You were not made to look on, though that be
A bliss too great for poor mortality:
In that alone those rarer parts you have,
To better uses sure wise nature gave
Than that you put them to; to love, to wed,
For Hymen's rights, and for the marriage-bed
You were ordain'd, and not to lie alone;
One is no number, till that two be one.
To keep a maidenhead but till fifteen,
Is worse than murder, and a greater sin
Than to have lost it in the lawful sheets
With one that should want skill to reap those sweets:
But not to lose 't at all—by Venus, this,
And by her son, inexpiable is;
And should each female guilty be o' th' crime,
The world should have its end before its time.


Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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