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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 M√ľnchner Volkshochschule and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.

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Thomas Hood

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

The man who cloaked his bitterness within
This winding-sheet of puns and pleasantries,
God never gave to look with common eyes
Upon a world of anguish and of sin:
His brother was the branded man of Lynn;       
And there are woven with his jollities
The nameless and eternal tragedies
That render hope and hopelessness akin.

We laugh, and crown him; but anon we feel
A still chord sorrow-swept,—a weird unrest       
And thin dim shadows home to midnight steal,
As if the very ghost of mirth were dead—
As if the joys of time to dream had fled,
Or sailed away with Ines to the West.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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