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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 München, 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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Song of Myself

by Walt Whitman

7


Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I
     know it.

I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash'd
     babe, and am not contain'd between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one
     good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all
     good.

I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal
     and fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know.)

Every kind for itself and its own, for me mine male and
     female,
For me those that have been boys and that love women,
For me the man that is proud and feels how it stings to be
     slighted,

For me the sweet-heart and the old maid, for me mothers and
     the mothers of mothers,
For me lips that have smiled, eyes that have shed tears,
For me children and the begetters of children.

Undrape! you are not guilty to me, nor stale nor discarded,
I see through the broadcloth and gingham whether or no,
And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot
     be shaken away.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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