I was only eight years old;
And before I grew up and knew what it meant
I had no words for it, except
That I was frightened and told my Mother;
And that my Father got a pistol
And would have killed Charlie, who was a big boy,
Fifteen years old, except for his Mother.
Nevertheless the story clung to me.
But the man who married me, a widower of thirty-five,
Was a newcomer and never heard it
Till two years after we were married.
Then he considered himself cheated,
And the village agreed that I was not really a virgin.
Well, he deserted me, and I died
The following winter.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Lee Masters's poem Nellie Clark

1 Comment

  1. Samantha says:

    That is a sad poem. Im in drama and I have to remember every word to it. It’s hard to believe that little girls back then could have got raped and it would be blamed on them and not the boys. And to think that through out her whole life the story of her rape clung to her and no man wanted her cause she was no longer a virgin. And when she found a man that did love her, someone told him what happened to her and he no longer lovced her……to think how hard it must be to go through life in exile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Edgar Lee Masters better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.