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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 Münchner Volkshochschule and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.

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The Waking

by Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.   
I learn by going where I have to go. 

We think by feeling.  What is there to know?   
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. 

Of those so close beside me, which are you?   
God bless the Ground!   I shall walk softly there,   
And learn by going where I have to go. 

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?   
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. 

Great Nature has another thing to do   
To you and me; so take the lively air,   
And, lovely, learn by going where to go. 

This shaking keeps me steady.  I should know.   
What falls away is always. And is near.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

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