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Thanks to a residency at EcoHealth, my verse these days finds inspiration in the specter of future pandemics; for my dissertation at LMU München, where I tutor composition and edit a poetry weekly, I'm anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson's sonnets—I also teach at MVHS and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.

20151211

More Sonnets at Christmas

by Allen Tate

To Denis Devlin

I

Again the native hour lets down the locks   
Uncombed and black, but gray the bobbing beard;   
Ten years ago His eyes, fierce shuttlecocks,   
Pierced the close net of what I failed: I feared   
The belly-cold, the grave-clout, that betrayed   
Me dithering in the drift of cordial seas;
Ten years are time enough to be dismayed
By mummy Christ, head crammed between his knees.   

Suppose I take an arrogant bomber, stroke   
By stroke, up to the frazzled sun to hear   
Sun-ghostlings whisper: Yes, the capital yoke—
Remove it and there’s not a ghost to fear   
This crucial day, whose decapitate joke   
Languidly winds into the inner ear.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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