by E. A. Robinson
Before there was in Egypt any sound
Of those who reared a more prodigious means
For the self-heavy sleep of kings and queens
Than hitherto had mocked the most renowned,—
Unvisioned here and waiting to be found,
Alone, amid remote and older scenes,
You loomed above ancestral evergreens
Before there were the first of us around.
And when the last of us, if we know how,
See farther from ourselves than we do now,
Assured with other sight than heretofore
That we have done our mortal best and worst,—
Your calm will be the same as when the first
Assyrians went howling south to war.
Note: A recitation can be heard here.
- Mark Olival-Bartley
- Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now writing a dissertation on the sonnets of E. A. Robinson at LMU, where he tutors composition alongside editing flyers on poetry and style. 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 at Review of International American Studies. He also teaches at Münchner Volkshochschule and leads the Amerikahaus Literaturkreis.