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As the resident artist at EcoHealth, I pen verse these days inspired by the specter of future pandemics; for my dissertation at Amerika-Institut of LMU München, where I edit a weekly circular on poetry, I'm anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson's sonnets—I also teach English, tutor composition, and lead a 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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