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Analysis and comments on George Gray by Edgar Lee Masters

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Comment 24 of 134, added on May 7th, 2009 at 2:29 AM.

In Master's, "Spoon River Anthology," many epitaphs were written describing
the gruesome underbelly of human life. He also expressed the same ideas in,
"George Gray." Missed oppurtunities were expressed in this free verse poem.
Master's life is compared to a boat through his metaphors, a boat that is
anchored and unable to move as destiny knocks on the door and missed
oppurtunities pile up.

Justin Bahlinger from United States
Comment 23 of 134, added on May 7th, 2009 at 1:15 AM.

Edgar Lee Masters became famous after writing after writing Spoon River
Anthology. Spoon River Anthology had about 250 epitaphs. He used epitaphs
from towns he knew to show hidden underside of American life. "George
Gray' is a free verse epitaph about a man that never responded to any
opportunities of fun or excitement because of fear. Edgar Lee Masters uses
personification in this poem by giving the boat human feelings.

Michael McCullough from United States
Comment 22 of 134, added on May 6th, 2009 at 8:43 PM.

Edgar Lee Masters, a Kansas native, wrote 250 epitaphs which showed the
underside of American life. An example of this is his poem "George Gray".
In this verse, George had chances to experience more throughout life but
did not want to take the risk of it ending in a dreadful manner. Edgar Lee
Masters used free verse in his writings and had a unique style which was
romantic, pretty, and wordy.

Joseph Alvaro from United States
Comment 21 of 134, added on May 7th, 2009 at 1:00 AM.

Edgar Lee Masters poem George Grey is about someone possibly himself that
never lived life and was afraid to take any chances of risks. He is now
looking back at his life and regretting his lack of courage and missed
chanced in life. Edgar Lee uses a sail boat as a metaphor comparing it to
the missed opportunities. In his last sentence "it's a boat longing for the
sea yet afraid", he is admitting that although he wants to take chances and
live life he is still afraid.


Lauren Engeln from United States
Comment 20 of 134, added on May 7th, 2009 at 12:48 AM.

Edgar Lee Masters is an American poet who writes many real life experiences
in his very many free verse epitaphs in his most known Spoon River
Anthology. In this poem "George Gray" he misses out on many opportunities.
George Gray wants to avoid the heartache and change. He wanted to go out
and take a risk and have an opportunity with life but didn't because of his
fear of regret.

Kristina Victa from United States
Comment 19 of 134, added on May 7th, 2009 at 12:36 AM.

Edgar Lee Masters was famous for being a dramatist and author. In one of
his many poems"George Gray" it tells about how life has its up and downs
and whether a person should take the risk or not. In my opinion life is
about taking risks because the biggest risk is not risking. We as people
long for a meaning in life and whether we sail a boat to find it or walk
with a nap sack or maybe perhaps fly to a different country, we live to
find out our purposeand our purpose is living.

Shiermaine Francisco from United States
Comment 18 of 134, added on May 6th, 2009 at 11:59 PM.

“George Gray” was taken from a collection of epitaphs written by Edgar Lee
Masters. This epitaph in particular is written in free verse and portrays
the aphorism and motif of living life to the fullest. In the beginning of
the epitaph, Masters uses metaphors to compare his life to a boat, “A boat
with a furled sail at rest in a harbor” (Masters 3). The epitaph is closed
using personification when Masters allows an object to take on feeling such
as fear by stating, “It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid”
(Masters 16).

Katie Cleveland from United States
Comment 17 of 134, added on May 6th, 2009 at 9:09 PM.

Edgar Lee Masters wrote a collection of 250 epitaphs in his most famous
Spoon River Anthology. Like his other poems, “George Gray” was written in
free verse. This poem is about a dead man, George Gray, who is looking at
his own tombstone and he is regretting about not living his life to the
fullest. He was afraid of love and change, therefore he missed out on all
the things that he could have done to make his life more fulfilling.
Throughout this poem, Masters used a boat as a metaphor to represent his
life. “But life without meaning is the torture…It is a boat longing for
the sea and yet afraid”, this suggests that life needs to be lived to the
fullest or it would be like there was no point to it, just like a boat
would be useless without the sea.

Fiona Carter from United States
Comment 16 of 134, added on May 6th, 2009 at 2:00 AM.

All of Edgar Lee Master's poetry was in the form of epitaphs, including
"George Gray". This poem has the theme of living life to the fullest before
it's too late. George Gray, as Masters describes, was afraid of love,
change, and commitment. Gray "hungered for the meaning" in his life and was
too scared to find out what that meaning was. Masters is using George Gray
as an example of what not to do in life as a guide of what one should do.

Christina Zimmerman from United States
Comment 15 of 134, added on May 6th, 2009 at 1:45 AM.

Edgar Lee Masters is an American poet who is the author of Spoon River
Anthology. It is a collection of 250 epitaphs of residents of a small town.
The poem “George Gray” by Edgar Lee Masters is spoken by a dead man who is
wondering what is written on his gravestone. “And now I know that we must
lift the sail/And catch the winds of destiny” (Masters). George Gray lived
a small and safe life. While avoiding, pain, and adventure, he also missed
out on all the things that give life meaning and now regrets not taking his
life to the fullest. “But life without meaning is the torture…It is a boat
longing for the sea and yet afraid” (Masters). Like the boat, he wishes he
had taken risks but he could not because his fear kept getting in his way.

Arlene B. from United States

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Information about George Gray

Poet: Edgar Lee Masters
Poem: George Gray
Added: Mar 18 2005
Viewed: 866 times
Poem of the Day: Oct 30 2011


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