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Spoon River Anthology Kindle Edition

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Length: 146 pages
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA-- A richly annotated edition resuscitates a fading American classic. Because Hallivas's pithy introduction adds both perspective and gossipy detail, YAs will enjoy learning about the individual struggles of the 244 characters who speak from the cemetery on "the hill." Secondary teachers will find this a useful tool for preparing character sketches, thanks to the lively, specific annotations naming names: who rejected whom; who challenged whom, both physically and politically--and it is all expertly researched. The microcosm of Spoon River comes alive with its central conflicts of agrarian traditionist v. temperance and abolitionist activism. From the grave, the hard-drinking, roughly hewn frontiersmen challenge the do-good social reformers, reenacting the struggle the 19th-century midwestern push kindled: would any government law prohibiting drinking or slavery impress these strong individual-rights townspeople? They offer their own answers as Masters intended, but they offer the responses against a tapestry of detail the editor provides. Hallivas's cogent essay traces the philosophical influences that marked Masters's works: Spinoza, Goethe, and especially Whitman. The inclusion of several photographs of the characters who speak adds important visual detail.
- Margaret Nolan, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Definitive... Hallwas' reading of 'Spoon River' is undoubtedly the best and the one the poet intended. The Midwest is seens as the New World Eden assaulted by the forces of modernization." -- Chicago Tribune. "Massively annotated... provides a wealth of information." -- The New Republic

Product Details

  • File Size: 265 KB
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: March 24, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TP94G8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,119 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By eubara on March 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Having loved this book for almost 50 years I was delighted to find a "free" edition. After a quick download I happily searched for my favorite character. Hmm, not there. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. No. Just not there. After a little more comparing with a REAL BOOK I see that at least 30 of 212 or so characters are missing. This leaves me somewhere between "beggers can't be choosers" and WTF? Free shouldn't be synonymous with crap and indifference. And always in the back of my mind is the spectre that haunts all electronic media..how easy it is to change it, censor it, "correct" it, turn it 180 degrees to where the prevailing winds blow. And nobody notices. If this book means something to you find another version or stick with paper.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com VINE VOICE on July 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There is no Spoon River, IL. Check your map. Several towns argue that they stake their claim in being what Masters asserted to be this mythical town. Petersburg and Lewistown, two towns of otherwise minor repute seem closest... but it is so much better we haven't an actual town... Spoon River's residents are our next door neighbors, whether we live in Central Illinois or Central Florida, or southern Alaska.

Masters has written not fables, but the essence of American life. He hasn't captured the life and times of 1915, but has instead recorded in 1915 the life and times of our present day America.

The same reason the paintings of Norman Rockwell makes sense is why Edgar Lee Masters poetry makes sense. To read the quick messages on the gravestone of one man, learning a little bit him, and something about a neighbor or two, we can learn a little about how we live in communities today.

Our lives, like Jimmy Stewart's character in "It's a Wonderful Life" found out, interact and impact everyone we meet. Who we love, who we should love and who we reject. And when we die, others feel the loss. Masters has aptly put this in a humorous, yet insightful way into short verses.

The poems don't rhyme. The meter is not solid, and the poetics aren't intricate. They aren't poems like Poe's or Dickinson, not in the way they wrote American poems. Don't expect iambic pentameter-based sonnets or villanelles. Expect a conversation, and listen in.

The poetry here is in the subtle use of social nuance. In the nuances are his insight and wit. Two readings will bring to light what you miss in the first.

Buy this book, read it slow.
Read more ›
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Andrew H. Scal, ascal@gguol.ggu.edu on March 21, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spoon River Anthology is an American Classic. It has touched me since my grandfather read parts of it to me more than thirty years ago. Ostensibly it is a collection of autobiographical poems of the silent inhabitants of the town's graveyard. The broad theme, the book's strategy, is the great sweep of what America was like in the nineteenth century. The stories of their lives; joys and sorrows, successes and failures, loves and hates, and secrets of those people in the graveyard are the tactics. Above all, E.L. Masters exposes the hypocrisy and denial in which people have always lived their lives. Even today, in a much worldlier time than the turn of the century when it was written, the brutal honesty of the citizens shakes our complacency. This is no mellow reflection on the good old days. Its citizens corrupt and are corrupted. They suffer loveless marriages. Men run away to war to escape jail or rejection in love, women suffer stifling lack of opportunity and equality. The citizens die in childbirth or from lockjaw contracted from a cut by a rusty knife. Yet in reading about these lives we understand a little more about what it is to be human. None of us could fail to find some stories that in ways match ours to a greater or lesser extent. An in doing so, be granted in life the level of insight into ourselves and others that these storytellers achieved only after their lives had ended.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Julia Conley, conley@msys.net on June 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I use the Dover edition at Buckhannon-Upshur High School with my ninth grade students each spring. Even the kids who say they hate poetry end up liking this book. We read the poems as pieces of a puzzle, trying to put the people and their problems together. We only get about one third of the book done in class, but most of the students read more on their own time. There's a new one--students reading for pleasure!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
Okay, okay, we know it's a true classic of American Literature, but why should you buy the Annotated Edition? Well, annotations, for one thing. The added layers of understanding are well worth the extra $. Plus, it's a really nice trade paperback. It just looks classier than some newsprinty mass market.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dr S on May 30, 2005
Format: Library Binding
I am now 36 years old. I read this book Christmas break 1985. Mr. Bingham my English teacher had given it to the class to read over the break. I read this book cover to cover in one sitting.

What it meant to me? I can't summarize it in this setting, but it made me appreciate my life and my place in this world.

More than any other book it gave me focus, determination and awe of the lives we touch.

I am now a surgeon and i can't tell you how many of my patients come in like characters from this book. And i listen and look at them with the same awe i read twenty years prior.
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