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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 München, 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.


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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