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

20141002

Eros Turannos

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

She fears him, and will always ask
      What fated her to choose him;
She meets in his engaging mask
      All reasons to refuse him;
But what she meets and what she fears
Are less than are the downward years,
Drawn slowly to the foamless weirs
      Of age, were she to lose him.

Between a blurred sagacity
      That once had power to sound him,
And Love, that will not let him be
      The Judas that she found him,
Her pride assuages her almost,
As if it were alone the cost –
He sees that he will not be lost
      And waits and looks around him.

A sense of ocean and old trees
      Envelops and allures him;
Tradition, touching all he sees,
      Beguiles and reassures him;
And all her doubts of what he says
Are dimmed with what she knows of days –
Till even prejudice delays
      And fades, and she secures him.

The falling leaf inaugurates
      The reign of her confusion:
The pounding wave reverberates
      The dirge of her illusion;
And home, where passion lived and died,
Becomes a place where she can hide,
While all the town and harbour side
      Vibrate with her seclusion. 

We tell you, tapping on our brows,
      The story as it should be –
As if the story of a house
      Were told, or ever could be;
We'll have no kindly veil between
Her visions and those we have seen –
As if we guessed what hers have been,
      Or what they are, or would be.

Meanwhile we do no harm; for they
      That with a god have striven,
Not hearing much of what we say,
      Take what the god has given;
Though like waves breaking it may be
Or like a changed familiar tree,
Or like a stairway to the sea
      Where down the blind are driven.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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