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As the resident artist at EcoHealth, my verse these days finds inspiration in the specter of future pandemics; for my dissertation at Amerika-Institut of LMU M√ľnchen, where I edit a weekly circular of U.S. poetry, I'm anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson's sonnets—I also teach English and tutor composition.

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Thomas Hood

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

The man who cloaked his bitterness within
This winding-sheet of puns and pleasantries,
God never gave to look with common eyes
Upon a world of anguish and of sin:
His brother was the branded man of Lynn;
And there are woven with his jollities
The nameless and eternal tragedies
That render hope and hopelessness akin.

We laugh, and crown him; but anon we feel
A still chord sorrow-swept,--a weird unrest;
And thin dim shadows home to midnight steal,
As if the very ghost of mirth were dead--
As if the joys of time to dreams had fled,
Or sailed away with Ines to the West.

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