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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 and edit circulars on poetics and composition, I'm anatomizing the prosody of Robinson's sonnets—I also teach at MVHS and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.

20140804

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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