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Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in TESOL. He is now writing a dissertation on the sonnets of E. A. Robinson at LMU M√ľnchen, where he tutors composition alongside editing flyers on poetry and style. He teaches English at M√ľnchner Volkshochschule and leads the Amerikahaus Literaturkreis. He is also the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured.


The Passionate Poet to His Love

by James Agee

Come live with me and be my love
Provided you think little of
Such stodge encumbrances as friends
Who keep their means for their own ends;

Granted we mutually agree
That yours was never a mother’s knee,
Or, if the spiteful slime should bud,
Will nip the foetus while it’s mud;

Provided you can smoothly be
Wife, mother or nonentity
As metamorphic moods require;
Provided, also, you admire

Nor ever dare to criticize
Each syllable that I devise,
And shall apprise me (though I know it)
Of my majority as a poet,

And, like four angels each with sword
Will guard the Inception of the Word—
If such persuasions aught can move,
Then live with me and be my love.

Note: A recitation can be heard here.

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