Edgar Lee Masters

(23 August 1868 – 5 March 1950 / Kansas / United States)

Barney Hainsfeather - Poem by Edgar Lee Masters

If the excursion train to Peoria
Had just been wrecked, I might have escaped with my life --
Certainly I should have escaped this place.
But as it was burned as well, they mistook me
For John Allen who was sent to the Hebrew Cemetery
At Chicago,
And John for me, so I lie here.
It was bad enough to run a clothing store in this town,
But to be buried here -- ach!

Comments about Barney Hainsfeather by Edgar Lee Masters

  • Kim Barney (8/26/2015 11:15:00 AM)

    I wonder if this poem is based on a true incident, and if Barney Hainsfeather and John Allen's bodies really were switched and buried in the wrong places!
    My search engine is not working. Can anyone find out and let me know?

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Read poems about / on: life, running

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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