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As the resident poet at EcoHealth Alliance, my verse finds inspiration these days in the spectre of global pandemics. At LMU Munich's Amerika-Institut, where I tutor composition and poetics, I'm anatomizing the sonnets of E. A. Robinson for my dissertation. I also teach at Münchner Volkshochschule and Amerikahaus.

20150623

Sonnet

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Oh, for a poet—for a beacon bright
To rift this changeless glimmer of dead gray;
To spirit back the Muses, long astray,
And flush Parnassus with a newer light;
To put these little sonnet-men to flight
Who fashion, in a shrewd mechanic way,
Songs without souls, that flicker for a day,
To vanish in irrevocable night.

What does it mean, this barren age of ours?
Here are the men, the women, and the flowers,
The seasons, and the sunset, as before.
What does it mean?  Shall there not one arise
To wrench one banner from the western skies,
And mark it with his name for evermore?

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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