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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 M√ľnchner Volkshochschule and Amerikahaus.

20150803

Sonnet

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

The master and the slave go hand in hand,
Though touch be lost. The poet is a slave,
And there be kings do sorrowfully crave
The joyance that a scullion may command.
But, ah, the sonnet-slave must understand       
The mission of his bondage, or the grave
May clasp his bones, or ever he shall save
The perfect word that is the poet’s wand.

The sonnet is a crown, whereof the rhymes
Are for Thought’s purest gold the jewel-stones;       
But shapes and echoes that are never done
Will haunt the workship, as regret sometimes
Will bring with human yearning to sad thrones
The crash of battles that are never won.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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