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As the resident poet at EcoHealth Alliance, my verse finds inspiration these days in the spectre of future pandemics. For my dissertation at LMU's Amerika-Institut, I'm anatomizing the poetics of E. A. Robinson's sonnets. I also teach English at Münchner Volkshochschule and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.

20140718

Vergognando talor ch' ancor si taccia

by Francesco Petrarca
Translated by Marion Shore

  Ashamed sometimes, my lady, that I still 
cannot express your beauty in my rhyme,
I wander to that sweet and distant time
when you alone gained power of my will.
  But even there I find no guiding skill,
no strength to scale a height I cannot climb,
for such a task demands a force sublime,
at whose attempt I fall back, mute and still.
  How often do I move my lips to speak,
and find my voice lies buried in my breast --
but then, what sound could ever rise so high?
  How often in my verses do I seek
to find the words my tongue cannot express,
but pen and hand are vanquished with each try.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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