Toward the Gulf (Classic Reprint)by Edgar Lee Masters
It would have been fitting had I dedicated Spoon River Anthology to you. Considerations of an intimate nature, not to mention a literary encouragement which was before yours, crowded you from the page. Yet you know that it was you who pressed upon my attention in June, 1909, the Greek Anthology. It was from contemplation of its epitaphs
Excerpt from Toward the Gulf
It would have been fitting had I dedicated Spoon River Anthology to you. Considerations of an intimate nature, not to mention a literary encouragement which was before yours, crowded you from the page. Yet you know that it was you who pressed upon my attention in June, 1909, the Greek Anthology. It was from contemplation of its epitaphs that my hand unconsciously strayed to the sketches of "Hod Putt," "Serepta The Scold" ("Serepta Mason" in the book), "Amanda Barker" ("Amanda" in the book), "Ollie McGee" and "The Unknown," the first written and the first printed sketches of The Spoon River Anthology. The Mirror of May 29th, 1914, is their record.
I take one of the epigrams of Meleager with its sad revealment and touch of irony and turn it from its prose form to a verse form, making verses according to the breath pauses:
"The holy night and thou, O Lamp, we took as witness of our vows; and before thee we swore, he that would love me always and I that I would never leave him. We swore, and thou wert witness of our double promise. But now he says that our vows were written on the running waters. And thou, O Lamp, thou seest him in the arms of another."
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