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Spoon River Anthology
     

Spoon River Anthology

3.9 26
by Edgar Lee Masters
 

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In 1915, Edgar Lee Masters published a book of dramatic monologues written in free verse about a fictional town called Spoon River. Based on the midwestern towns where Edgar Lee Masters grew up, the shocking scandals and secret tragedies of Spoon River were immediately recognized by readers as authentic. Masters raises the dead "sleeping on the hill" in the village

Overview

In 1915, Edgar Lee Masters published a book of dramatic monologues written in free verse about a fictional town called Spoon River. Based on the midwestern towns where Edgar Lee Masters grew up, the shocking scandals and secret tragedies of Spoon River were immediately recognized by readers as authentic. Masters raises the dead "sleeping on the hill" in the village cemetery to tell the truth about their lives, and their testimony topples the American myth of the moral superiority of small-town life. Spoon River is as undeniably corrupt and truel as the big city, and is home to murderers, drunkards, crooked bankers, lechers, bitter wives and abusive husbands, failed dreamers, and a few good souls. The freshness of this landmark work has not diminished, and Spoon River Anthology remains an American classic.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812539042
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
11/28/1997
Series:
Tor Classics Series
Edition description:
Complete and Unabridged
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Spoon River Anthology

The Hill

Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley, The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter? All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

 

One passed in a fever, One was burned in a mine, One was killed in a brawl, One died in a jail, One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife—All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

 

Where are Ella, Kate, Mag, Lizzie and Edith, The tender heart, the simple soul, the loud, the proud, the happy one?—All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

 

One died in shameful child-birth, One of a thwarted love, One at the hands of a brute in a brothel, One of a broken pride, in the search for heart's desire, One after life in far-away London and Paris Was brought to her little space by Ella and Kate and Mag—All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.Where are Uncle Isaac and Aunt Emily, And old Towny Kincaid and Sevigne Houghton, And Major Walker who had talked With venerable men of the revolution?—All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

 

They brought them dead sons from the war, And daughters whom life had crushed, And their children fatherless, crying—All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

 

Where is Old Fiddle: Jones Who played with life all his ninety years, Braving the sleet with bared breast, Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin, Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven? Lo! he babbles of the fish-frys of long ago, Of the horse-races of long ago at Clary's Grove, Of what Abe Lincoln said One time at Springfield.

All new material in this edition copyright © 1996 by Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.

Meet the Author

Edgar Lee Masters was born in 1868 in Garnett, Kansas, and was raised in several small towns in Illinois. He long harbored literary ambitions but was trained as a lawyer, and practiced for several years in Chicago with Clarence Darrow. Using a variety of pseudonyms to avoid possible damage to his law practice, Masters began to publish poetry in magazines. By 1915 he had published four books of poetry, seven plays, and a collection of essays, but none of them had received much critical attention. Masters then began to experiment with poetic form, bringing to life the sort of people he had known in his Midwestern childhood. The result was Spoon River Anthology, which mixed classical and innovative forms to create a work that critics both praised and scorned for its forthrightness and originality. The book experienced great critical and popular success, and influenced a generation of writers. Although Masters published a sequel to the book and many more workshe never succeeded in producing another volume to match his masterpiece. He died in 1950.

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Spoon River Anthology (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This ¿edition¿ of Spoon River is a rip-off and a disappointment. I have had a copy of Spoon River on my bookshelf for over forty years, and recently wished to give a nicer copy of this important work to a friend. So I ordered this hardcover edition, at $27.95. At first glance I was disappointed. For a hardcover, it was of low quality, cheap paper, and a cheap and very plain font. Then I discovered that it is marked ¿Copyright 1986 by Buccaneer Book, Inc.¿. There is no reference to the original publication date of 1915, no introduction, and the Epilogue, contained in all paperback editions that I have seen, was missing entirely. Worst of all, THIRTY (30) of the original ¿voices¿ have simply been deleted. This edition by Buccaneer Books is an unacceptable insult to a great work of American literature, and I am surprised that Barnes & Noble have allowed such low quality merchandise to be in their inventory. I will be returning this ¿book¿ immediately. Brian Young
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. IT IS INCOMPLETE-MISSING OVER THIRTY WHOLE POEMS AND COUNTLES OTHERS ARE HALF THERE. TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE BOOK.
manircu33 More than 1 year ago
super good :)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im Reading and Doing Projects and activities on this book in english class and athough im not a big reAder this is a really great book!
Trodar More than 1 year ago
Along with WINESBURG, OHIO, SPA needs to be re-visited in the sense that it is time to reevaluate the American dream by looking back into small town life as it was presented at the turn of the 20th century. It's not a pretty picture anymore. SPA takes you into familiar problems of today. Somewhere the American Dream seems to be more of a nightmare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had not read Spoon River Anthology since I was in high school but its poems have stayed with me all these years. When I found the hardcover I knew this was a book I had to own. After all these years it is as relevant and brilliant as I remembered.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book to discuss in my English Class. The kids love it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This can be a difficult read but well worth it. I have owned it since I was in high school and repeatedly go back to it like an old friend.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This clever book of poems is really handy for monologues. Some casting directors think that you're quite clever to use something that isn't the typical monologue. The poems are filled with emotion and character, and truly are good pieces.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. My brother had to read this book for high school and he gave all his old books to me.. I am not a big fan of poetry which is why this book surprised me so!