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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.

20130205

"We're Few, Perhaps Three"


by Boris Pasternak
Translated by Babette Deutsch

We're few, perhaps three, hellish fellows
Who hail from the flaming Donetz,
With a fluid gray bark for our cover
Made of rain-clouds and soldiers' soviets
And verses and endless debates
About art or it may be freight rates.

We used to be people.  We're epochs.
Pell-mell we rush caravanwise
As the tundra to groans of the tender
And tension of pistons and ties.
Together we'll rip through your prose,
We'll whirl, a tornado of crows,

And be off!  But you'll not understand it
Till late.  So the wind in the dawn
Hits the thatch on the roof--for a moment--
But puts immortality on
At trees' stormy sessions, in speech
Of boughs the roof's shingles can't reach.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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