I gave myself a name— Maggie. Have you not seen mountains climbed, railroads built, Iron and coal mastered, Over this vast stretch of restless, crazy humanity? Act or refrain from acting, Stand back or dare; Or whether to act and regard not, Or ad and think of the gain; Or flight for the inner truth of the sold. And consider me, lying latent, called forth To build a wiser and juster realm Of money for Spoon River! Both the solid and humorous sides of life are portrayed with fetching ballads and the free-verse form of Masters. Thou shalt not steal — save from the Philistine, by slavery And in the game of property. If children are bastards it's due to sin. And mingled flames in this realm? Thou hast food for many days. To back away, to run, seek havens of distant places, See old friends.
Ironically, Blood tells the reader, Dora, the milliner's daughter, and Ruben Pantier make love on top of his grave! All of me head and wings, Resting on shoulderless arms that enclosed me. You who do this have left the cave of ignorance, And the haunts of bats and sightless fish, Only to bandage your eyes Against the light of heaven, And the one great star in the East! My secret: Under a mount that you shall never find. It wasn't true: I was worn with living, Weak from excess, unnerved, diseased, And haunted with visions of joys departed, And stung by regret for wasted hours. You, too, passed from city to city, From place to place, Keeping or forgetting to surrender The keys of forfeited havens! That is the tragedy of the soul In pain and alone as the darkness deepens! Likewise, Margaret Fuller Slack died an ironic death. He was so kind and understanding, He treated me like a woman of worth, And looked at me with eyes so clear, And strode the car so straight and strong, He was a gentleman through and through, Who seemed to be out of place. From the cemetery hill his figures continued to speak of their frustrations and failures, of the insanity, murders, and diseases that are the themes of their epitaphs.
To be a workman with adze and plane, And to see your finished ship sail off, And to know it no more; To hear of the storms it weathered, the ports it reached. But is not God an hypothesis, A guess? Till she dives nose first with the anarch weight of steel To the crash through the trees of Siever's woods! His figures speaking from the grave are more direct than they could have been in life. The fact that he critiqued small town life was a huge deal back then, and opened the door for other modernist writers to do the same. Amos was kind to the boy, and was raising him, Even as I loved the daughter of my wife, The natural child of another man — A fact not known to you, Spoon River , Before I married the mother! My father said, to console me, That I was ever with him — why not? Via musical interludes, we are introduced in a cemetery to the ghosts of those who were inhabitants of this town, and whose secrets have gone with them to the grave. And I say to you that in ages to be When the matter of bread is solved for all, And this earth becomes a battleground of souls For favor with God — What murders, what suffering, what tragedy for this! Through the sequences of related epigrams, a cranky, honest voice prevails.
And you, the unmarried, leading impeccable lives To the outward world, Do not some of you have affairs, all so secret, And yet cheat the man who thinks himself solely favored? What was it that gave them the scent of me, Made them pursue, and fortuned Fate and Nature In a league against me, all along the way? I was from Tarsos, I never married and wish my father had not. Was my course justified, And my wisdom proven wisdom? I was always thinking of my imprisonment There in New Hampshire, And that you might sense it. But after I married the sister of August Fortune, And he took me into business with him, My Story leaked out and it crippled me. But when the mists cleared up from my mind, As the heat of earth and life grew cool, I saw that it wasn't merely this man, But that I should have hated any man Whom she desired in the marriage embrace, And who desired her! Didn't some of you have them before you were married, And fool your bridegrooms with the pretense of virginity? Fiddler Jonesappears in Page 83 Fiddler Jones tells the reader about a vibration that the earth keeps going in a man's heart. If she hasn't arrived at the desired psychological and emotional state for the character by this time, there is no point in going on.
Follow me, passer-by: Be young, be wise, Be indifferent to good and evil, And the laws they make — Seek only the truth, And die! Don't be shy about letting it ring out loud and clear. So, while he was preaching about how people should not be allowed to drink alcohol, he was secretly drinking every day! Can you prove any real evil against me Without also proving That a pen is evil, or love is evil. And going back and forth I saw him. Do you wish to make a man change his politics? Of special importance, of course, are the last two lines. Fold me to your breast again. You who were bitten by a rat While demonstrating your patent trap, And made the rat in the trap the symbol Of the life of you and the life of man, Come out of your grave and view my stone, And the metaphor that I chose: I made it a cage and not a trap; I made it a squirrel, and not a rat.
Globes of circling lights, Star showers! Hatred, contempt of the world, And without hope 1 — O merciless Apollo! The interrelated voices produce a series of plots that give both volumes the unobtrusive substructure of a play for voices, a kind of auto sacramental in which abstract vices and virtues converse. Well, did any holy propagandum Ever surpass the pillar of cloud and fire, Jehovah, Made a cloud and a darkness to Pharaoh? She reads or recites her parallel dialogue the same way she read the poem at the beginning of the class portion of the exercise, taking in each full thought one at a time and allowing these words to have an emotional impact. While radicals paused to straighten paths For the weary feet of the weak. And did you think of me who passed among you, Always with the light of consecration In my eyes? It cannot be broken up with pauses, or we as listeners will be lost in understanding it. These are the nests of the eagles enduring a century! If Jesus was the son of God why did he not write a better book Than the Old Testament, or The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs? And within, crouched in a crevice of wall and roo, Is a swallow, hiding with broken wing, And eyes that search your eyes! And show how I planted bombs malodorous Which exploded after I left. And why compare it to human kindness? My character was the older sister.
They petitioned the Lord to blot my name from heaven- That was too far ahead and away to worry about. The same advantage applies to many plays as well. To have Turks and Persians rule you: So called moralists, preachers and merchants. To look at prairies at the ends of streets, Not up at Hymettus. Nor envy, nor covet; Nor wonder whether to eat or fast. He left me to my fate with Doctor Meyers; And I sank into death, growing numb from the feet up, Like one stepping deeper and deeper into a stream of ice. Laugh at something worth a laugh: Jesus told his disciples to go not in the way of the Gentiles, And into the cities of Samaritans to enter not, But rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
What is it all but a great devouring? Mallard was alsoaccusing her husband of abuse and felt free only after her death whenOllie McGee only felt free after her death. So what does it prove to show no progress Within the time of written records? Deacon Taylor, then, was a leader in his church. Well, he was so glad to have me again, For I was his pet from the day of my birth, That he took me in and clothed and fed me, And rejoiced that the lost was found again, And he that was dead had come to life. But the world is a woman, And the world drives everyone crazy at last. For was my pardon and my honors Good in all, and good for you? It is then that social and personal-existential elements merge. As an example, there are some poems where the character committed suicide.