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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 Münchner Volkshochschule and Amerikahaus.

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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