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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.

20141025

Troilus and Criseyde

Book V, Lines 1786-1813

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Go, litel book, go litel myn tragedie,
Ther god thy maker yet, er that he dye,
So sende might to make in som comedie!
But litel book, no making thou nenvye,
But subgit be to alle poesye;
And kis the steppes, wher-as thou seest pace
Virgile, Ovyde, Omer, Lucan, and Stace.

And for ther is so greet diversitee
In English and in wryting of our tonge,
So preye I god that noon miswryte thee,
Ne thee mismetre for defaute of tonge.
And red wher-so thou be, or elles songe,
That thou be understonde I god beseche!
But yet to purpos of my rather speche. --

The wraththe, as I began yow for to seye,
Of Troilus, the Grekes boughten dere;
For thousandes his hondes maden deye,
As he that was with-outen any pere,
Save Ector, in his tyme, as I can here.
But weylawey, save only goddes wille,
Dispitously him slough the fiers Achille.

And whan that he was slayn in this manere,
His lighte goost ful blisfully is went
Up to the holownesse of the seventh spere,
In convers letinge every element;
And ther he saugh, with ful avysement,
The erratik sterres, herkeninge armonye
With sownes fulle of hevenish melody.
Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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