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Spoon River Anthology: 100th Anniversary Edition (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – July 3, 2007
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About the Author
As a young man, Edgar Lee Masters (1869–1950) rebelled against what he believed to be the hypocrisy of small-town life and went to Chicago, where he practiced law for thirty years. He published eleven books of verses, plays, and essays before beginning his masterpiece, Spoon River Anthology (1915). Later, Masters, Carl Sandburg, and Vachel Lindsay initiated a poetic renaissance in the Midwest, with Chicago as its center.
John Hollander (1929–2013) was an acclaimed American poet and the Sterling Professor emeritus of English at Yale University. His books include Spectral Emanations: New and Selected Poems, Harp Lake, In Time and Place, and Blue Wine and Other Poems. Hollander was also the author of a number of critical works, including Rhyme’s Reason: A Guide to English Verse.
Ronald Primeau is Professor of English and Director of the MA in Humanities at Central Michigan University. He has published books on Edgar Lee Masters, Herbert W. Martin, the literature of the American highway, and the rhetoric of television. He has edited works on Masters, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and the dynamics of literary influence.
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Top Customer Reviews
I read this many years ago in a high school lit class. I was inspired to reread it before a trip to the rural county where I was born, since we were visiting mainly the cemetery where many generations of my parents' families were buried. It was this edition of the book, which made real for me the angst of dreams trampled, hardships endured, all hidden from prying eyes.
I won't critique the writing of Edgar Lee Masters. Others do that very well. Does his work apply to us today? For me, it prepared me to stand in the middle of this quiet cemetery with the blue August sky overhead, revisit my childhood, reflect on innocent joy, missed opportunities, and on past/future hardships before my time comes to lay down beside my progenitors. I felt such a kinship with this place. This place is more a part of me than I realized.
Perhaps the rather small volume will allow you to enter fully into such an experience as well.
I was given my first copy 51 years ago; SRA remains a pivotal favorite to reread and to gift -- using Amazon, to find a helpful array of new paperback, Kindle and first edition hardcover editions.
The brilliantly written tale is deceptively allegorical and as simple as cornbread. Spoon River Anthology spreads out the adult human condition in "gravestone poems" --like Tarot cards. The cast of small-town characters range across generations, touch each other in love/hate/blood/despair/hope and are absolutely in the Now. Master's most memorable work, this little book is a divinatory journey within for romantics.
A very creative and interesting way to bring the reader into the center of town life!