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As the resident artist at EcoHealth, I pen verse inspired by the specter of future pandemics; for my dissertation at Amerika-Institut of LMU M√ľnchen, where I edit a weekly circular on poetry, I'm anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson's sonnets—I also teach English, tutor composition, and lead a literary circle.

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Aaron Stark

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Withal a meagre man was Aaron Stark,
Cursed and unkempt, shrewd, shrivelled, and morose.
A miser was he, with a miser's nose,
And eyes like little dollars in the dark.
His thin, pinched mouth was nothing but a mark;
And when he spoke there came like sullen blows
Through scattered fangs a few snarled words and close,
As if a cur were chary of its back.

Glad for the murmur of his hard renown,
Year after year he shambled through the town,
A loveless exile moving with a staff;
And oftentimes there crept into his ears
A sound of alien pity, touched with tears,--
And then (and only then) did Aaron laugh.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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