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Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in TESOL, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson’s sonnets for his dissertation at Amerika Institut of LMU Munich, where also he edits a poetry weekly. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor of Review of International American Studies.

20150322

Scorn Not the Sonnet

by William Wordsworth

Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned, 
Mindless of its just honours; with this key 
Shakespeare unlocked his heart; the melody 
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound; 
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; 
With it Camöens soothed an exile's grief; 
The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf 
Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned 
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp, 
It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land 
To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp 
Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand 
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew 
Soul-animating strains—alas, too few!

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