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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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The Laggards

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Scorners of earth, you that have one foot shod
With skyward wings, but are not flying yet,
You that observe no goal or station set
Between your groping and the towers of God
For which you languish, may it not be odd
And avaricious of you to forget 
Your toll on an accumulating debt
For dusty leagues that you are still to plod?

But many have paid, you say, and paid again;
And having had worse than death are still alive,
Only to pay seven fold, and seven times seven.
They are many; and for cause not always plain,
They are the laggards among those who strive
On earth to raise the golden dust of heaven.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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