Edgar Lee Masters An American Poet Essay

Edgar Lee Masters: An American Poet Essay, Research Paper Edgar Lee Masters Edgar Lee Masters was an American poet, known principally for his poems about life in the Midwest. It has been 49 years since he has died and today he is virtually forgotten. His book of poems entitled Spoon River Anthology may spark a small amount of recognition.

Edgar Lee Masters: An American Poet Essay, Research Paper

Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters was an American poet, known principally for his poems about life in the Midwest. It has been 49 years since he has died and today he is virtually forgotten. His book of poems entitled Spoon River Anthology may spark a small amount of recognition. This book is a work of free verse poems about the secret lives of the inhabitants of Spoon River, a small Midwest town based on Lewistown and Petersburg, Illinois. This book remains a landmark in the literature world of realism and revolt against

conventional social standards that flourished in the early 20th century.

To really understand Edgar Lee Masters writing?s, one must first understand the imperialist. Imperialists a political party unlike any that are

in control over the United Stated now. Imperialist follow the beliefs of

imperialism, which is to practiced control or influence over weaker nations of

people. Although imperialism is similar to colonialism, the two terms need to

be distinguished. Colonialism usually implies formal political control,

imperialism refers more or less to economical control.

Edgar Lee Master, a native of Garnett, Kansas, was born to Hardin

W. Masters and Emma Dexter on August 32, 1896. Edgar spent the

majority of this early childhood near a town called Petersburg in Illinois

where he grew up on his grandfather?s farm. It was not until he was twelve

that his parents finally settled in Lewistown, another small town in Illinois.

It was this town, and Petersburg that he would later base his most famous

work, Spoon River Anthology.

Masters attended Lewistown High School and graduated in 1886 at

the young age of 17 (Wrenn, _). Although Masters? natural interest was

poetry and writing, his father forced him into studying law privately after

refusing to send him to college for writing. His father?s primary reason for

refusing to send Masters to college was because there was not any money in

it and that there was not any use in it. Perhaps this is one reason that

Masters didn?t believe money should dictate lifes. He then went into

practice with his father before deciding to move to Chicago, where he spent

most of his adult life.

While Masters was in Chicago, he worked as a bill collector. By 1890

he had already had several verses of poems printed in the Chicago papers

and had done general work for the newspapers. This same year, he

supported the campaign of William Jennings Bryan. He wrote several essays

and speeches opposing imperialism. Along with all of the work that he had

done for the campaign, Edgar Lee Masters studied at Knox College for one

year and was then admitted to the Bar. The Bar is the exam that all lawyers

have to pass in order to get their license to practice law.

In 1893 Masters established his first law office in the Chicago area.

But he did not do it alone, he had the help of his new partner, Kicksham

Scamlon.

In 1898 Edgar Masters published A Book of Verse, which was a book

of poetry. In the summer of this same year, Masters married Helen

Jenkins. One year into the marriage, they?d had their first son which they

named Handin. Somewhere around this time (1899) Masters ended his law

partnership with Scamlon. During the next few years, Masters continued to

practice law at a private office.

Between the years 1902 and 1908 Edgar Lee Masters became the

partner of Clarence Darrow. He also wrote Richmond, which was a play in

verses. Along with this play, Masters released two more books of poems. He

called these books The Blood of the Prophets and Althea. In 1909 Masters

had an affair with Tennessee Mitchell. His wife refused to grant him a

divorce. The affair went on for two more years. It was not until he left his

wife and family that his wife would give him a divorce.

While in practice with Darrow, Masters collected some of the

essays written during and shortly after the 1900 campaign of William

Jennings Bryan and published them as The New Star Chamber and Other

Essays (1904). He also published his early anti-imperialist poems in The

blood of the Prophets (1905) under the pseudonym Dexter Wallace. Masters

opposition to imperialism continued for many years. He returned to

turn-of-the-century events in the Philippines in his Spoon River Anthology

(1915) and a verse play, Manila (1930). In 1916 he reminded the country

that it was the seizure of the Philippines that made it difficult to stay

neutral as warfare raged in Europe.

Edgar Lee Masters ended his career on March 5, 1950. He died in

Melrose Park , Pennsylvania. He was buried in the cemetery of Petersburg,

Illinois (the village that was used with Lewistown had been use for the since

of his most famous work). The name of the cemetery is the Oakland

Cemetery. Here is an example of his work:

This is Harry Wilmans. It is a poem form Spoon River Anthology.

I was just turned twenty-one

And Henry Phipps, the Sunday-school superintendent,

Made a speech in Bindle?s Opera House.

?The honor of the flag must be upheld,? he said,

?Whether it be assailed by a barbarous tribe of Tagalogs

Or the greatest power in Europe.?

And we cheered and cheered the speech and the flag he waved

As he spoke.

And I went to the war in spite of my father,

And Followed the flag till I saw it raised

By our camp in rice field near Manila,

And all of us cheered and cheered it.

But there were flies and poisonous things;

And there was the deadly water,

And the cruel heat,

And the sickening, putrid food;

And the smell of the trench just back of the tents

Where the soldiers went to empty themselves;

And there were the whores who followed us, full of syphilis;

And beastly acts between ourselves or alone,

With bullying, hatred, degradation among us,

And days of loathing and nights of fear

To the hour of the charge through the steaming swamp,

Following the flag,

Till I fell with a scream, shot through the guts.

Now there?s a flag over me in Spoon River!

A flag! A flag!

Bibliography

Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters was an American poet, known principally for his

poems about life in the Midwest. It has been 49 years since he has died and

today he is virtually forgotten. His book of poems entitled Spoon River

Anthology may spark a small amount of recognition. This book is a work of

free verse poems about the secret lives of the inhabitants of Spoon River, a

small Midwest town based on Lewistown and Petersburg, Illinois. This book

remains a landmark in the literature world of realism and revolt against

conventional social standards that flourished in the early 20th century.

To really understand Edgar Lee Masters writing?s, one must first

understand the imperialist. Imperialists a political party unlike any that are

in control over the United Stated now. Imperialist follow the beliefs of

imperialism, which is to practiced control or influence over weaker nations of

people. Although imperialism is similar to colonialism, the two terms need to

be distinguished. Colonialism usually implies formal political control,

imperialism refers more or less to economical control.

Edgar Lee Master, a native of Garnett, Kansas, was born to Hardin

W. Masters and Emma Dexter on August 32, 1896. Edgar spent the

majority of this early childhood near a town called Petersburg in Illinois

where he grew up on his grandfather?s farm. It was not until he was twelve

that his parents finally settled in Lewistown, another small town in Illinois.

It was this town, and Petersburg that he would later base his most famous

work, Spoon River Anthology.

Masters attended Lewistown High School and graduated in 1886 at

the young age of 17 (Wrenn, _). Although Masters? natural interest was

poetry and writing, his father forced him into studying law privately after

refusing to send him to college for writing. His father?s primary reason for

refusing to send Masters to college was because there was not any money in

it and that there was not any use in it. Perhaps this is one reason that

Masters didn?t believe money should dictate lifes. He then went into

practice with his father before deciding to move to Chicago, where he spent

most of his adult life.

While Masters was in Chicago, he worked as a bill collector. By 1890

he had already had several verses of poems printed in the Chicago papers

and had done general work for the newspapers. This same year, he

supported the campaign of William Jennings Bryan. He wrote several essays

and speeches opposing imperialism. Along with all of the work that he had

done for the campaign, Edgar Lee Masters studied at Knox College for one

year and was then admitted to the Bar. The Bar is the exam that all lawyers

have to pass in order to get their license to practice law.

In 1893 Masters established his first law office in the Chicago area.

But he did not do it alone, he had the help of his new partner, Kicksham

Scamlon.

In 1898 Edgar Masters published A Book of Verse, which was a book

of poetry. In the summer of this same year, Masters married Helen

Jenkins. One year into the marriage, they?d had their first son which they

named Handin. Somewhere around this time (1899) Masters ended his law

partnership with Scamlon. During the next few years, Masters continued to

practice law at a private office.

Between the years 1902 and 1908 Edgar Lee Masters became the

partner of Clarence Darrow. He also wrote Richmond, which was a play in

verses. Along with this play, Masters released two more books of poems. He

called these books The Blood of the Prophets and Althea. In 1909 Masters

had an affair with Tennessee Mitchell. His wife refused to grant him a

divorce. The affair went on for two more years. It was not until he left his

wife and family that his wife would give him a divorce.

While in practice with Darrow, Masters collected some of the

essays written during and shortly after the 1900 campaign of William

Jennings Bryan and published them as The New Star Chamber and Other

Essays (1904). He also published his early anti-imperialist poems in The

blood of the Prophets (1905) under the pseudonym Dexter Wallace. Masters

opposition to imperialism continued for many years. He returned to

turn-of-the-century events in the Philippines in his Spoon River Anthology

(1915) and a verse play, Manila (1930). In 1916 he reminded the country

that it was the seizure of the Philippines that made it difficult to stay

neutral as warfare raged in Europe.

Edgar Lee Masters ended his career on March 5, 1950. He died in

Melrose Park , Pennsylvania. He was buried in the cemetery of Petersburg,

Illinois (the village that was used with Lewistown had been use for the since

of his most famous work). The name of the cemetery is the Oakland

Cemetery. Here is an example of his work:

This is Harry Wilmans. It is a poem form Spoon River Anthology.

I was just turned twenty-one

And Henry Phipps, the Sunday-school superintendent,

Made a speech in Bindle?s Opera House.

?The honor of the flag must be upheld,? he said,

?Whether it be assailed by a barbarous tribe of Tagalogs

Or the greatest power in Europe.?

And we cheered and cheered the speech and the flag he waved

As he spoke.

And I went to the war in spite of my father,

And Followed the flag till I saw it raised

By our camp in rice field near Manila,

And all of us cheered and cheered it.

But there were flies and poisonous things;

And there was the deadly water,

And the cruel heat,

And the sickening, putrid food;

And the smell of the trench just back of the tents

Where the soldiers went to empty themselves;

And there were the whores who followed us, full of syphilis;

And beastly acts between ourselves or alone,

With bullying, hatred, degradation among us,

And days of loathing and nights of fear

To the hour of the charge through the steaming swamp,

Following the flag,

Till I fell with a scream, shot through the guts.

Now there?s a flag over me in Spoon River!

A flag! A flag!