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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 M√ľnchner Volkshochschule and Amerikahaus.

20140715

Se l'ornorata fronde che prescrive

by Francesco Petrarca
Translated by James Wyatt Cook

  Had not those honored leaves that tame the wrath
Of heaven when high Jove thunders, not denied
To me that crown which customarily
Adorns one who, while shaping verses, writes,
  I'd be a friend to these your goddesses,
The ones this age abandons wretchedly;
But far that wrong already drives me off
From the inventress of the olive tree.
  Indeed, no Ethiopic dust boils up
Beneath the hottest sun the way I blush
At losing such a treasured gift of mine.
  Search out, therefore, a fountain more serene,
For mine of every cordial stands in need,
Save only that which I well forth in tears.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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