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Spoon River Anthology

Posted by FiddlerJones on Sunday, February 7, 2010

Not that anyone asked, but my nickname comes from "Spoon River Anthology," by Edgar Lee Masters. It's a collection of "voices from the grave"--statements by the dead reflecting on their lives. Because they're, well, dead and all, they speak with stunning directness and honesty about what their lives were all about. I recommend the book to anyone who's interested. Woven through the brief first-person narratives are quite a few interesting, intertwining tales.

This is the statement from the character named Fiddler Jones:

THE earth keeps some vibration going
There in your heart, and that is you.
And if the people find you can fiddle,
Why, fiddle you must, for all your life.
What do you see, a harvest of clover?
Or a meadow to walk through to the river?
The wind's in the corn; you rub your hands
For beeves hereafter ready for market;
Or else you hear the rustle of skirts
Like the girls when dancing at Little Grove.
To Cooney Potter a pillar of dust
Or whirling leaves meant ruinous drouth;
They looked to me like Red-Head Sammy
Stepping it off, to "Toor-a-Loor."
How could I till my forty acres
Not to speak of getting more,
With a medley of horns, bassoons and piccolos
Stirred in my brain by crows and robins
And the creak of a wind-mill--only these?
And I never started to plow in my life
That some one did not stop in the road
And take me away to a dance or picnic.
I ended up with forty acres;
I ended up with a broken fiddle--
And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,
And not a single regret.

5 comments on “Spoon River Anthology”

mudbug Says:
Monday, February 8, 2010 @12:25:28 PM


rastewart Says:
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @1:32:05 PM

Love this poem. Thank you for recalling it.

Ozarkian DL Says:
Sunday, April 11, 2010 @5:47:11 PM

Applause, applause, APPLAUSE. Thnx Kevin......I shore liked your classical touch ta "Soldiers Joy".

FiddlerJones Says:
Monday, April 12, 2010 @2:35:13 AM

Well, thanks. It's not to everyone's taste, but I enjoy it.

fiddleiphile Says:
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @6:23:12 AM

Kevin, this is the only place I could find to get in and tell you GREAT JOB on Grey Eagle. Blew me away. 5 stars for sure

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