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Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in TESOL, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson’s sonnets for his dissertation at Amerika Institut of LMU Munich, where also he edits a poetry weekly. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor of Review of International American Studies.

20170429

Sonnet

by James Weldon Johnson


My heart be brave, and do not falter so,   
Nor utter more that deep, despairing wail.   
Thy way is very dark and drear I know,   
But do not let thy strength and courage fail;   
For certain as the raven-winged night 
Is followed by the bright and blushing morn,   
Thy coming morrow will be clear and bright;   
’Tis darkest when the night is furthest worn.   
Look up, and out, beyond, surrounding clouds,   
And do not in thine own gross darkness grope,   
Rise up, and casting off thy hind’ring shrouds,   
Cling thou to this, and ever inspiring hope: 
   Tho’ thick the battle and tho’ fierce the fight, 
   There is a power making for the right.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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