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Edgar Lee Masters - Mrs. Kessler

Mr Kessler, you know, was in the army,
And he drew six dollars a month as a pension,
And stood on the corner talking politics,
Or sat at home reading Grant's Memoirs;
And I supported the family by washing,
Learning the secrets of all the people
From their curtains, counterpanes, shirts and skirts.
For things that are new grow old at length,
They're replaced with better or none at all:
People are prospering or falling back.
And rents and patches widen with time;
No thread or needle can pace decay,
And there are stains that baffle soap,
And there are colors that run in spite of you,
Blamed though you are for spoiling a dress.
Handkerchieds, napery, have their secrets--
The laundress, Life, knows all about it.
And I, who went to all the funerals
Held in Spoon River, swear I never
Saw a dead face without thinking it looked
Like something washed and ironed. 

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Added: Mar 18 2005 | Viewed: 2793 times | Comments and analysis of Mrs. Kessler by Edgar Lee Masters Comments (2)

Mrs. Kessler - Comments and Information

Poet: Edgar Lee Masters
Poem: Mrs. Kessler
Poem of the Day: Dec 8 2008

Comment 2 of 2, added on February 9th, 2010 at 2:18 PM.
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I don't really understand this poem. Is she a busybody poking into other ppls buisness or is she a kindhearted lady providing for her family?

Becca from United States
Comment 1 of 2, added on April 13th, 2005 at 8:43 PM.

Mrs. Kessler is a great character, she talks about how SHE provided for her family and how she could see all secrets through the clothes she washed, from the rips and tears to the stains.

Someone from Mrs. S' class from Australia

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