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Edgar Lee Masters

(23 August 1868 – 5 March 1950 / Kansas / United States)

Edgar Lee Masters
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Born on August 23, 1868 to Emma J. Dexter and Hardin Wallace Masters in Garnett, Kansas, his father had briefly moved to set up a law practice. The family soon moved back to his paternal grandparents' farm near Petersburg in Menard County, Illinois. In 1880 they moved to Lewistown, Illinois, where he attended high school and had his first publication in the Chicago Daily News. The culture around Lewistown, in addition to the town's cemetery at Oak Hill, and the nearby Spoon River were the inspirations for many of his works, most notably Spoon River Anthology, his most famous and acclaimed work. Spoon River was Masters's revenge on small-town hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness. It gained a huge ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Out of me unworthy and unknown
    The vibrations of deathless music;''
    Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950), U.S. poet. Anne Rutledge (Spoon River Anthology) (l. 1-2). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiesse...
  • ''I am Anne Rutledge who sleep beneath these weeds,
    Beloved in life of Abraham Lincoln,
    Wedded to him, not through union,
    But through separation''
    Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950), U.S. poet. Anne Rutledge (Spoon River Anthology) (l. 7-10). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiess...
  • ''The eye-balls were seared with a milky mucus;
    The madness of a dying soul
    Was written on her face—
    But the multitude saw why she wore the bandage."''
    Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950), U.S. poet. Carl Hamblin (Spoon River Anthology). . . Oxford Book of Satirical Verse, The. Geoffrey Grigson, comp. (...
  • To be an editor, as I was.
    Then to lie here close by the river over the place
    Where the sewage flows from the village,
    And the empty cans and garbage are dumped,
    And aborti...
    Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950), U.S. poet. Editor Whedon (Spoon River Anthology) (l. 21-25). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthies...
  • To be able to see every side of every question;
    To be on every side, to be everything, to be nothing long;
    To pervert truth, to ride it for a purpose,

    To use great feeling...
    Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950), U.S. poet. Editor Whedon (Spoon River Anthology) (l. 1-5). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiesse...
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Comments about Edgar Lee Masters

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  • Donald Simon Schofield (8/2/2012 9:33:00 AM)

    Hello, I cannot find the poem 'Tomorrow is my birthday’ by Edgar Lee?
    I think that he wrote this before his 80 birthday. A wonderful poem.
    I love your poems. Thank you.
    Schofield. Northallerton. Yorkshire. UK.

  • Donald Simon Schofield (7/18/2012 4:17:00 AM)

    Hello, I cannot find the poem 'Tomorrow is my birthday’ by Edgar Lee?
    I think that he wrote this before his 80 birthday. A wonderful poem.
    I love your poems. Thank you.
    Schofield. Northallerton. Yorkshire. UK.

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