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As the resident artist at EcoHealth, I pen verse 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.

20161108

The Makers

by Howard Nemerov,
recited by Hillary Rodham Clinton



Who can remember back to the first poets, 
The greatest ones, greater even than Orpheus? 
No one has remembered that far back 
Or now considers, among the artifacts, 
And bones and cantilevered inference 
The past is made of, those first and greatest poets, 
So lofty and disdainful of renown 
They left us not a name to know them by. 

They were the ones that in whatever tongue 
Worded the world, that were the first to say 
Star, water, stone, that said the visible 
And made it bring invisibles to view 
In wind and time and change, and in the mind 
Itself that minded the hitherto idiot world 
And spoke the speechless world and sang the towers 
Of the city into the astonished sky. 

They were the first great listeners, attuned 
To interval, relationship, and scale, 
The first to say above, beneath, beyond, 
Conjurors with love, death, sleep, with bread and wine, 
Who having uttered vanished from the world 
Leaving no memory but the marvelous 
Magical elements, the breathing shapes 
And stops of breath we build our Babels of. 

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