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As the resident poet at EcoHealth, 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 M√ľnchner Volkshochschule and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.

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Charles Carville's Eyes

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

A melancholy face Charles Carville had,
But not so melancholy as it seemed,
When once you knew him, for his mouth redeemed
His insufficient eyes, forever sad:
In them there was no life-glimpse, good or bad,
Nor joy nor passion in them ever gleamed;
His mouth was all of him that ever beamed,
His eyes were sorry, but his mouth was glad.

He never was a fellow that said much,
And half of what he did say was not heard
By many of us: we were out of touch
With all his whims and all his theories
Till he was dead, so those blank eyes of his
Might speak them.  Then we heard them, every word.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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