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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 and edit circulars on poetics and composition, I'm anatomizing the prosody of Robinson's sonnets—I also teach at MVHS and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.

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Shadrach O'Leary


by Edwin Arlington Robinson

O'Leary was a poet--for a while:
He sang of many ladies frail and fair,
The rolling glory of their golden hair,
And emperors extinguished with a smile.
They foiled his years with many an ancient wile,
And if they limped, O'Leary didn't care:
He turned them loose and had them everywhere,
Undoing saints and senates with their guile.

But this was not the end.  A year ago
I met him--and to meet was to admire:
Forgotten were the ladies and the lyre,
And the small, ink-fed Eros of his dream.
By questioning I found a man to know--
A failure spared, a Shadrach of the Gleam

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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