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Biography of Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters (1868 - 1950)

Edgar Lee Masters (1868 -1950) was a United States American poet, biographer and dramatist. He is the author of Spoon River Anthology, Songs and Satires, The Great Valley, The Serpent in the Wilderness An Obscure Tale, The Spleen, Mark Twain : A Portrait, Lincoln, The Man, Illinois Poems.


Biography by: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Edgar Lee Masters.


252 Poems written by Edgar Lee Masters

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | Page Views | Comments | [First Lines]


First LineComments
I spent my money trying to elect you Mayor
I was the milliner Comments and analysis of Mrs. Williams by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
I was well known and much beloved
I went to the dances at Chandlerville, Comments and analysis of Lucinda Matlock by Edgar Lee Masters 299 Comments
I won the prize essay at school Comments and analysis of John Horace Burleson by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
It is true, fellow citizens,
(THE GRAVEYARD OF SPOON RIVER. TWO VOICES ARE HEARD BEHIND A SCREEN DECORATED WITH DIABOLICAL AND ANGELIC FIGURES IN VARIOUS ALLEGORICAL RELATIONS. A FAINT LIGHT SHOWS DIMLY THROUGH THE SCREEN AS IF IT WERE WOVEN OF LEAVES, BRANCHES AND SHADOWS.)
A chaplain in the army,
A giant as we hoped, in truth, a dwarf;
A step-mother drove me from home, embittering me. Comments and analysis of Georgine Sand Miner by Edgar Lee Masters 4 Comments
After a long day of work in my hot-houses
After I got religion and steadied down
After I had attended lectures
After you have enriched your soul
All they said was true:
All your sorrow, Louise, and hatred of me
Almost the shell of a woman after the surgeon's knife!
As a boy, Theodore, you sat for long hours
As to democracy, fellow citizens,
At first I suspected something -- Comments and analysis of Tom Merritt by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
At first you will know not what they mean, Comments and analysis of Faith Matheny by Edgar Lee Masters 4 Comments
At four o'clock in late October
Back and forth, back and forth, to and from the church,
Better than granite, Spoon River,
Both for the country and for the man,
Dear Jane! dear winsome Jane! Comments and analysis of Paul McNeely by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
Did I follow Truth wherever she led,
Did my widow flit about
Did you ever find out
Did you ever hear of Editor Whedon
Did you ever see an alligator Comments and analysis of Arlo Will by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
Do the boys and girls still go to Siever's
Do you remember when I stood on the steps
Do you remember, O Delphic Apollo, Comments and analysis of Webster Ford by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
Do you remember, passer-by, the path
Do you think that odes and sermons,
Doc Meyers said I had satyriasis,
Dust of my dust,
Everyone laughed at Col. Prichard
Father, thou canst never know
From Bindle's opera house in the village Comments and analysis of Flossie Cabanis by Edgar Lee Masters 33 Comments
God! ask me not to record your wonders,
Grandmother! You who sang to green valleys,
Harry Wilmans! You who fell in a swamp
Have any of you, passers-by,
Have you seen walking through the village Comments and analysis of Ollie McGee by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
He protested all his life long Comments and analysis of Mrs. Meyers by Edgar Lee Masters 5 Comments
He ran away and was gone for a year.
Henry got me with child,
Herbert broke our engagement of eight years Comments and analysis of Louise Smith by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
Here I lie close to the grave Comments and analysis of Hod Putt by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
Here lies the body of Lois Spears,
Here! You sons of the men
Horses and men are just alike.
How did you feel, you libertarians, Comments and analysis of Jacob Godbey by Edgar Lee Masters 8 Comments
How does it happen, tell me,
How many times, during the twenty years
I am Minerva, the village poetess,
I began with Sir William Hamilton's lectures. Comments and analysis of Imanuel Ehrenhardt by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
I belonged to the church, Comments and analysis of Deacon Taylor by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
I bought every kind of machine that's known -- Comments and analysis of Abel Melveny by Edgar Lee Masters 3 Comments
I could not run or play
I grew spiritually fat living off the souls of men. Comments and analysis of Robert Davidson by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
I had fiddled all day at the county fair.
I had no objection at all
I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea, Comments and analysis of Silence by Edgar Lee Masters 7 Comments
I have studied many times Comments and analysis of George Gray by Edgar Lee Masters 328 Comments
I have two monuments besides this granite obelisk: Comments and analysis of Lambert Hutchins by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
I inherited forty acres from my Father Comments and analysis of Cooney Potter by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
I know that he told how I snared his soul
I leaned against the mantel, sick, sick,
I loathed you, Spoon River. I tried to rise above you,
I looked like Abraham Lincoln.
I lost my patronage in Spoon River
I made two fights for the people.
I never saw any difference
I preached four thousand sermons, Comments and analysis of Rev. Lemuel Wiley by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
I ran away from home with the circus,
I reached the highest place in Spoon River,
I said when they handed me my diploma,
I sat on the bank above Bernadotte
I staggered on through darkness,
I tried to win the nomination
I wanted to be County Judge
I wanted to go away to college
I was a gun-smith in Odessa.
I was a lawyer like Harmon Whitney Comments and analysis of Tom Beatty by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
I was a peasant girl from Germany, Comments and analysis of Elsa Wertman by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
I was among multitudes of children
I was attorney for the "Q"
I was crushed between Altgeld and Armour.
I was just turned twenty-one,
I was not beloved of the villagers, Comments and analysis of Dorcas Gustine by Edgar Lee Masters 8 Comments
I was only eight years old; Comments and analysis of Nellie Clark by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
I was sick, but more than that, I was mad
I was sixteen, and I had the most terrible dreams, Comments and analysis of Zenas Witt by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
I was the daughter of Lambert Hutchins,
I was the first fruits of the battle of Missionary Ridge.
I was the laughing-stock of the village,
I was the only child of Frances Harris of Virginia
I was the Sunday school superintendent,
I was the Widow McFarlane,
I was Willie Metcalf.
I went up and down the streets Comments and analysis of Doc Hill by Edgar Lee Masters 5 Comments
I who kept the greenhouse, Comments and analysis of Samuel Gardner by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
I winged my bird,
I would have been as great as George Eliot
I would I had thrust my hands of flesh
I wrote him a letter asking him for old times' sake
I, born in Weimar Comments and analysis of Russian Sonia by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
I, the scourge-wielder, balance-wrecker,
If a man could bite the giant hand
If I could have lived another year
If the excursion train to Peoria
If the learned Supreme Court of Illinois
If you in the village think that my work was a good one,
In a lingering fever many visions come to you:
In my life I was the town drunkard; Comments and analysis of Chase Henry by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
In my Spanish cloak, Comments and analysis of Andy the Night-Watch by Edgar Lee Masters 5 Comments
In the last spring I ever knew, Comments and analysis of Russell Kincaid by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
In the lust of my strength Comments and analysis of John Ballard by Edgar Lee Masters 6 Comments
In youth my wings were strong and tireless, Comments and analysis of Alexander Throckmorton by Edgar Lee Masters 3 Comments
Is it true, Spoon River,
It never came into my mind
It was just like everything else in life:
It was moon-light, and the earth sparkled
It was only a little house of two rooms --
Jonas Keene thought his lot a hard one
Knowlt Hoheimer ran away to the war
Maurice, weep not, I am not here under this pine tree. Comments and analysis of Sarah Brown by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
Mr Kessler, you know, was in the army, Comments and analysis of Mrs. Kessler by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
My father who owned the wagon-shop
My life's blossom might have bloomed on all sides
My mind was a mirror:
My mother was for woman's rights
My name used to be in the papers daily Comments and analysis of Hortense Robbins by Edgar Lee Masters 12 Comments
My parents thought that I would be Comments and analysis of Walter Simmons by Edgar Lee Masters 227 Comments
My thanks, friends of the County Scientific Association,
My valiant fight! For I call it valiant,
My wife lost her health,
Neither spite, fellow citizens,
No other man, unless it was Doc Hill,
Not character, not fortitude, not patience
Not in that wasted garden Comments and analysis of Conrad Siever by Edgar Lee Masters 3 Comments
Not "a youth with hoary head and haggard eye,"
Not, where the stairway turns in the dark,
Nothing in life is alien to you:
Observe the clasped hands!
Often Aner Clute at the gate
Oh many times did Ernest Hyde and I
Oh! the dew-wet grass of the meadow in North Carolina
Oh, you young radicals and dreamers, Comments and analysis of Captain Orlando Killion by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
On a mountain top above the clouds Comments and analysis of Judson Stoddard by Edgar Lee Masters 4 Comments
Once in a while a curious weed unknown to me,
Only the chemist can tell, and not always the chemist, Comments and analysis of Trainor the Druggist by Edgar Lee Masters 3 Comments
Out of a cell into this darkened space -- Comments and analysis of Frank Drummer by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
Out of me unworthy and unknown Comments and analysis of Anne Rutledge by Edgar Lee Masters 245 Comments
Out of the lights and roar of cities,
Over and over they used to ask me,
Passer-by,
Passer-by, sin beyond any sin
Reading in Ovid the sorrowful story of Itys,
Reverend Wiley advised me not to divorce him Comments and analysis of Mrs. Charles Bliss by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
Rhodes' slave! Selling shoes and gingham,
Rich, honored by my fellow citizens,
Samuel is forever talking of his elm --
Seeds in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick, Comments and analysis of Petit, The Poet by Edgar Lee Masters 9 Comments
She loved me. Oh! how she loved me!
She took my strength by the minutes,
Silent before the jury,
Spring and Summer, Fall and Winter and Spring,
Suppose it is nothing but the hive:
Suppose you stood just five feet two,
Take note, passers-by, of the sharp erosions Comments and analysis of The Circuit Judge by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
Tell me, was Altgeld elected Governor?
The bank broke and I lost my savings.
The buzzards wheel slowly
The cooper should know about tubs. Comments and analysis of Griffy the Cooper by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
The earth keeps some vibration going Comments and analysis of Fiddler Jones by Edgar Lee Masters 51 Comments
The idea danced before us as a flag; Comments and analysis of Many Soldiers by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
The pine woods on the hill,
The press of the Spoon River Clarion was wrecked,
The Prohibitionists made me Town Marshal
The secret of the stars, -- gravitation.
The sudden death of Eugene Carman
The very fall my sister Nancy Knapp
The white men played all sorts of jokes on me.
Their spirits beat upon mine
There at Geneva where Mt. Blanc floated above
There by the window in the old house
There is a quiet in my heart
There is something about Death
There is the caw of a crow, Comments and analysis of Jonathan Houghton by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
There would be a knock at the door Comments and analysis of Jeduthan Hawley by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
They brought me ambrotypes
They called me the weakling, the simpleton,
They first charged me with disorderly conduct,
They got me into the Sunday-school Comments and analysis of Yee Bow by Edgar Lee Masters 4 Comments
They have chiseled on my stone the words: Comments and analysis of Cassius Hueffer by Edgar Lee Masters 6 Comments
They laughed at me as "Prof. Moon,"
They told me I had three months to live,
They would have lynched me
This I saw with my own eyes: Comments and analysis of Thomas Ross, Jr. by Edgar Lee Masters 223 Comments
This is Darrow,
This weeping willow! Comments and analysis of Columbus Cheney by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
To all in the village I seemed, no doubt,
To be able to see every side of every question;
To this generation I would say: Comments and analysis of Mrs. George Reece by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
Together in this grave lie Benjamin Painter, attorney at law,
Toward the last
Vegetarian, non-resistant, free-thinker, in ethics a Christian;
Very well, you liberals,
We quarreled that morning,
We stand about this place -- we, the memories;
Well, don't you see this was the way of it:
Well, Emily Sparks, your prayers were not wasted, Comments and analysis of Reuben Pantier by Edgar Lee Masters 48 Comments
Were you not ashamed, fellow citizens,
What but the love of God could have softened
What do you see now? Comments and analysis of Dippold the Optician by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
When Fort Sumter fell and the war came
When I died, the circulating library Comments and analysis of Seth Compton by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
When I first came to Spoon River Comments and analysis of Richard Bone by Edgar Lee Masters 4 Comments
When I went to the city, Mary McNeely,
When my moustache curled,
When Reuben Pantier ran away and threw me
Whenever the Presbyterian bell
Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom, and Charley, Comments and analysis of The Hill by Edgar Lee Masters 3 Comments
Where is my boy, my boy -- Comments and analysis of Emily Sparks by Edgar Lee Masters 240 Comments
While I was handling Dom Pedro
Who carved this shattered harp on my stone?
Whoever thou art who passest by
Why are you running so fast hither and thither
Why did Albert Schirding kill himself
Why did you bruise me with your rough places
Why was I not devoured by self-contempt,
With our hearts like drifting suns, had we but walked,
Ye aspiring ones, listen to the story of the unknown
Ye who are kicking against Fate,
Ye young debaters over the doctrine Comments and analysis of The Village Atheist by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
Yes, here I lie close to a stunted rose bush Comments and analysis of Amelia Garrick by Edgar Lee Masters 3 Comments
You are over there, Father Malloy,
You have become a forge of snow-white fire,
You may think, passer-by, that Fate Comments and analysis of Lyman King by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
You never marveled, dullards of Spoon River, Comments and analysis of Harry Carey Goodhue by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
You never understood, O unknown one,
You observe the carven hand Comments and analysis of Marie Bateson by Edgar Lee Masters 1 Comment
You praise my self-sacrifice, Spoon River,
You would not believe, would you Comments and analysis of Indignation Jones by Edgar Lee Masters 2 Comments
Your attention, Thomas Rhodes, president of the bank;
Your red blossoms amid green leaves
[The late Mr. Jonathan Swift Somers, laureate of Spoon River, planned The Spooniad as an epic in twenty-four books, but unfortunately did not live to complete even the first book. The fragment was found among his papers by William Marion Reedy and was for the first time published in Reedy's Mirror of December 18th, 1914.]
"What will you do when you come to die,


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