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Edgar Lee Masters - Richard Bone

When I first came to Spoon River
I did not know whether what they told me
Was true or false.
They would bring me an epitaph
And stand around the shop while I worked
And say "He was so kind," "He was wonderful,"
"She was the sweetest woman," "He was a consistent Christian."
And I chiseled for them whatever they wished,
All in ignorance of its truth.
But later, as I lived among the people here,
I knew how near to the life
Were the epitaphs that were ordered for them when they died.
But still I chiseled whatever they paid me to chisel
And made myself party to the false chronicles
Of the stones,
Even as the historian does who writes
Without knowing the truth,
Or because he is influenced to hide it.

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Added: Mar 18 2005 | Viewed: 13925 times | Comments and analysis of Richard Bone by Edgar Lee Masters Comments (4)

Richard Bone - Comments and Information

Poet: Edgar Lee Masters
Poem: Richard Bone

Comment 4 of 4, added on March 8th, 2013 at 7:20 AM.
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Comment 3 of 4, added on March 26th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
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Comment 2 of 4, added on May 6th, 2009 at 2:17 AM.

Edgar Lee Masters and Sandburg have similar quantities both where from the Midwest known as the Bible belt and like Sandburg, Masters wrote free verses, but unlike Sandburg produced one book with a collection of epitaphs. In “Richard Bone” Masters brings realism into poetry by uncovering the truth of American people; the life of the drunk, housewives, preachers, bankers and many other life’s. The epitaphs free the death from society standards and normalcy to say what there life’s were really like. Masters speaks as if he is the person that is descended to create drama; another technique used by Masters is the title given is usually a clue to the characters personality. In this poem “Richard Bone”, Richard for living and bone for death

Elizabeth

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