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When a man starts out with nothing,
When a man starts out with his hands
Empty, but clean,
When a man starts to build a world,
Song At Sunset
Splendor of ended day, floating and filling me!
Hour prophetic-hour resuming the past!
Inflating my throat-you, divine average!
You, Earth and Life, till the last ray gleams, I sing.
April doesnt hurt here
Like it does in New England
Vast and brown
Sunday night and the park policemen tell each other it
is dark as a stack of black cats on Lake Michigan.
A big picnic boat comes home to Chicago from the peach
farms of Saugatuck.
NEITHER rose leaves gathered in a jar-respectably in Boston-these-nor drops of Christ blood for a chalice-decently in Philadelphia or Baltimore.
Cinders-these-hissing in a marl and lime of Chicago-also these-the howling of northwest winds across North and South Dakota-or the spatter of winter spray on sea rocks of Kamchatka.
I became a criminal when I fell in love.
Before that I was a waitress.
I didn't want to go to Chicago with you.
A Proper Trewe Idyll Of Camelot
Whenas ye plaisaunt Aperille shoures have washed and purged awaye
Ye poysons and ye rheums of earth to make a merrie May,
Ye shraddy boscage of ye woods ben full of birds that syng
Right merrilie a madrigal unto ye waking spring,
THEY shall arise in the States,
They shall report Nature, laws, physiology, and happiness;
They shall illustrate Democracy and the kosmos;
They shall be alimentive, amative, perceptive;
What do I want in these rooms papered with visions of money?
How much can I make by cutting my hair? If I put new heels on my shoes,
bathe my body reeking of masturbation and sweat, layer upon layer of excrement
dried in employment bureaus, magazine hallways, statistical cubicles, factory stairways,
I have two monuments besides this granite obelisk:
One, the house I built on the hill,
With its spires, bay windows, and roof of slate;
The other, the lake-front in Chicago,
Edgar Lee Masters
Well now friends you'll never guess it so I really must confess it
I just met the sweetest woman of my long dismal life.
But a friend of mine said, 'Buddy, just in case your mind is muddy,
Don't you know that girl you're fooling with is Peg-Leg Johnson's wife.
Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
Changing Of The Seasons
Oh the changing of the seasons it's a pretty thing to see
And though I find this balmy weather pleasin'
There's the wind come from tomorrow and I hear it callin' me
And I'm bound for the changing of the seasons
I drank musty ale at the Illinois Athletic Club with
the millionaire manufacturer of Green River butter
And his face had the shining light of an old-time Quaker,
Mamie beat her head against the bars of a little Indiana
town and dreamed of romance and big things off
somewhere the way the railroad trains all ran.
She could see the smoke of the engines get lost down
(For S. A.)TO write one book in five years
or five books in one year,
to be the painter and the thing painted,
... where are we, bo?
The press of the Spoon River Clarion was wrecked,
And I was tarred and feathered,
For publishing this on the day the Anarchists were hanged in Chicago:
“I saw a beautiful woman with bandaged eyes
Edgar Lee Masters
'My age, my beast!' - Osip Mandelstam
On the lips a taste of tolling we are blind
The light drifts like dust over faces
Of Him I Love Day And Night
OF him I love day and night, I dream'd I heard he was dead;
And I dream'd I went where they had buried him I love--but he was not
in that place;
And I dream'd I wander'd, searching among burial-places, to find him;
John Horace Burleson
I won the prize essay at school
Here in the village,
And published a novel before I was twenty-five.
I went to the city for themes and to enrich my art;
Edgar Lee Masters
I AM a hoodlum, you are a hoodlum, we and all of us are a world of hoodlums-maybe so.
I hate and kill better men than I am, so do you, so do all of us-maybe-maybe so.
In the ends of my fingers the itch for another man's neck, I want to see him hanging, one of dusk's cartoons against the sunset.
This is the hate my father gave me, this was in my mother's milk, this is you and me and all of us in a world of hoodlums-maybe so.
An Ode In Time Of Hesitation
After seeing at Boston the statue of Robert Gould Shaw, killed while storming Fort Wagner, July 18, 1863, at the head of the first enlisted negro regiment, the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts.
William Vaughn Moody
I saluted a nobody.
I saw him in a looking-glass.
He smiled--so did I.
He crumpled the skin on his forehead, frowning--so did I.
His song remains secret.
He worked too hard to read books.
He never heard how Sherwood Anderson
James Arlington Wright
Through sleet and fogs to the saline bogs
Where the herring fish meanders,
An army sped, and then, ‘t is said,
Swore terribly in Flanders:
Men said at vespers: 'All is well!'
In one wild night the city fell;
Fell shrines of prayer and marts of gain
Before the fiery hurricane.
John Greenleaf Whittier
Off The Turnpike
Good ev'nin', Mis' Priest.
I jest stepped in to tell you Good-bye.
Yes, it's all over.
All my things is packed
John Hancock Otis
As to democracy, fellow citizens,
Are you not prepared to admit
That I, who inherited riches and was to the manner born,
Was second to none in Spoon River
Edgar Lee Masters
An Account Of The Poem Games
In the summer of 1916 in the parlor of Mrs. William Vaughn Moody;
and in the following winter in the Chicago Little Theatre,
under the auspices of Poetry, A Magazine of Verse; and in Mandel Hall,
the University of Chicago, under the auspices of the Senior Class,-
To-day, fair Thisbe, winsome girl!
Strays o'er the meads where daisies blow,
Or, ling'ring where the brooklets purl,
Laves in the cool, refreshing flow.