Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters Poems
- Silence I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,...
- Fiddler Jones The earth keeps some vibration going There in...
- George Gray I have studied many times The marble which was ...
- Richard Bone When I first came to Spoon River I did not ...
- Lucinda Matlock I went to the dances at Chandlerville, And ...
- The Hill Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom, and Charley, ...
- Andy The Night-Watch In my Spanish cloak, And old slouch ...
Born on August 23, 1868 to Emma J. Dexter and Hardin Wallace Masters in Garnett, Kansas, his father had briefly moved to set up a law practice. The family soon moved back to his paternal grandparents' farm near Petersburg in Menard County, Illinois. In 1880 they moved to Lewistown, Illinois, where he attended high school and had his first publication in the Chicago Daily News. The culture around Lewistown, in addition to the town's cemetery at Oak Hill, and the nearby Spoon River were the inspirations for many of his works, most notably Spoon River Anthology, his most famous and acclaimed work. Spoon River was Masters's revenge on small-town hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness. It gained a huge ... more »
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I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,
And the silence of the city when it pauses,
And the silence of a man and a maid,
And the silence of the sick
When their eyes roam about the room.
And I ask: For the depths,
Of what use is language?
A beast of the field moans a few times
When death takes its young.
And we are voiceless in the presence of realities --
We cannot speak.
A curious boy asks an old soldier
Sitting in front of the grocery store,
"How did you lose your leg?"
And the old soldier is struck with silence, ...