I Just Wanted To Say...

What is your problem?

Name:
Location: Georgia, United States

I am me. More than I was, less than I will be. This is difficult. Facts-female, southern, mother and grandmother. Abstract-a Christian, a loner, intelligent, somewhat arrogant, impatient with stupidity, an unusual sense of humor.

6/19/2005

Spoon River

I first read Spoon River Anthology when I was fifteen. I have re-read it numerous times since then and I have found that the older I get, the more Masters' words touch something inside me.
This is not a standard novel, but a collection of characters who are dead and who speak their own personal epitaphs from the grave. Spoon River is an actual area in Illinois where Masters grew up.
The book was considered somewhat scandalous when it was published in 1915, because the ghosts are frank and blunt in a way they could not have been during their lives. Just about every nuance of human dynamics is covered, good and bad. Some of the characters lives interlock and it is interesting reading through the vignettes to see a name and realize that you have already heard the same story from another vantage point.
I have begun rereading it again, and one epitaph in particular has gained new meaning because of the soldiers who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq.


JACOB GOODPASTURE
When Fort Sumter fell and the war came
I cried out in bitterness of soul:
"O glorious republic now no more!"

When they buried my soldier son
To the call of trumpets and the sound of drums
My heart broke beneath the weight
Of eighty years and I cried:
"Oh, son who died in a cause unjust!
In the strife of Freedom slain!"
And I crept here under the grass.

And now from the battlements of time, behold:
Thrice thirty million souls being bound together
In the love of a larger truth,
Rapt in the expectation of the birth
Of a new Beauty,
Sprung from Brotherhood and Wisdom.

I with eyes of spirit see the Transfiguration
Before you see it.
But ye infinite brood of golden eagles nesting ever higher,
Wheeling ever higher the sun-light wooing
Of lofty places of Thought,
Forgive the blindness of the departed owl.

So to the newest brood of golden eagles, my deepest respect and gratitude.

1 Comments:

Blogger RP said...

Whoa. That was quite something.

2:44 PM  

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