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Spoon River Anthology

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,933 Ratings  ·  492 Reviews
A CLASSIC IN AMERICAN POETRY...

When Spoon River Anthology was published in 1915 it garnered immediate national attention for its truth and its shocking transgression of societal mores. A collection of poems from the graveyard of a rural Illinois town, Spoon River Anthology poignantly captures the politics, love, betrayals, alliances, hopes, and failures of this small Ame
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Touchstone (first published 1915)
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(showing 1-30)
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Chiara Pagliochini
« Molte volte ho studiato
la lapide che mi hanno scolpito:
una barca con vele ammainate, in un porto.
In realtà non è questa la mia destinazione
ma la mia vita.
Perché l’amore mi si offrì e io mi ritrassi dal suo inganno;
il dolore bussò alla mia porta, e io ebbi paura;
l’ambizione mi chiamò, ma io temetti gli imprevisti.
Malgrado tutto avevo fame di un significato nella vita.
E adesso so che bisogna alzare le vele
e prendere i venti del destino,
dovunque spingano la barca.
Dare un senso alla vita può
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Lyn
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, published in 1915, is a unique literary experience.

A collection of inter-related free-form poems, each title a person’s name, and each person a resident of the town cemetery. Masters has each relate a short story; some folks talk about their life, many about the circumstances of their death. Husbands and wives relate different perspectives of the same events, lovers and soldiers tell of their history, and each is a distinct, poetic voice.

Masters begins
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Carol
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, poetry
Edgar Lee Masters was the first poet whose poetry I loved with my whole heart. My high opinion of his work has never changed, notwithstanding the fact that he hasn't been cool for 50 years, if ever. Ha! Neither have I.
orsodimondo
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
NON AL DENARO, NON ALL'AMORE NÉ AL CIELO
La bibbia è la più letta, ma mi sa che questo ci va vicino.
E' un 'must', no?
Leggermente sopravvalutato, ma bello.
Si può riprendere in mano più volte, leggere una poesia e rimetterlo giù, sicuro che lo ritroveremo fedele ad aspettarci, all'occorrenza.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
The dead tell their secrets where they are buried. With no reason to lie we find that all is not what it seemed to be: some of the "pillars" of the community were rotten to the core and some of the "dregs" of the town were the best citizens. I think of this book every time I see a homeless person and wonder: has society abandoned this person while (somewhere) a CEO commits crimes that will never come to light?
Evan
244 dead residents of the Midwestern town of Spoon River (some based on real people and some fictional) tell the stories of their triumphs, frustrations, unrequited longings, their secrets -- often harboring lingering grudges about people buried alongside them. Whole families and neighbors, cross-talking in death. Each poem is titled with the name of the person speaking; each is short and most of them are heartbreaking. The wife and husband and the doctor, all scandalized by an abortion, the boy ...more
Karla
Sep 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've trawled through many a 19th century small town newspaper for various research projects, and one's dirty linen was often hung out to dry for public view in the printed word. Old men running off with the serving girls, errant wives being tracked down and found in flagrante with their lovers, etc. I've even got a great-great-uncle whose wife was run out of town on a rail by "The Community" for her illicit affair with a neighbor. Nasty little Victorian Peyton Places. Reading Spoon River Antholo ...more
Simona
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In quest'antologia Lee Masters dà voce al mondo dei morti di un villaggio americano del Midwest, Spoon River, appunto. I morti vogliono raccontare la loro verità, che è stata molto spesso taciuta e ignorata. In quest'antologia Lee Masters dà voce al mondo dei morti di un villaggio americano del Midwest, Spoon River, appunto. I morti vogliono raccontare la loro verità, che è stata molto spesso taciuta e ignorata per ipocrisia, convenienza, ecc.
Un'antologia di imprecazioni, lamenti, epitaffi sull
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Mnemosyne
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-poesia, n-usa, e4
Edgar Lee Masters nasceu, no Kansas, a 23 de Agosto de 1868 e morreu a 5 de Março de 1950. Uma destas datas serviu-me de pretexto para comprar este livro; o de Masters, para o escrever, foi o seu encontro com o romancista Theodore Dreiser, cuja audácia e realismo o impressionou.

Spoon River Anthology é uma obra singular, composta por 244 epitáfios, narrados pelos defuntos da localidade imaginária de Spoon Rider que, em poucas palavras, - dirigindo-se aos visitantes do cemitério - resumem a sua v
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Thomas
Not a bad book, but not one I would read again or recommend to others. It's a collection of free-verse poems, crafted as epitaphs of the former citizens of the Midwestern town Spoon River. While there were some meaningful poems and well-developed characters, there were quite a few sections that I did not care for at all. I've never been an ardent fan of poetry, though, and this one, while a good read, did nothing to change that.

Here's my favorite poem from the book:

"George Gray:
I have studied ma
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Maria
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Masters coltivò le sue storie in un clima pregno di tragedia, un tempo nel quale le piccole realtà facevano da intermezzo tra grandi alleati e grandi nemici, vecchi miti e nuovi eroi. La gente normale non era interessante, non faceva presa. Eppure era proprio quella gente che, nella sua semplicità, deteneva la "verità umana".

http://startfromscratchblog.blogspot....
Bonnie
This was so very lovely.
Guido
Se i morti potessero parlare, sarebbero sinceri: liberi dall'obbligo della buona educazione, dal dover mantenere la necessaria discrezione tra vicini e familiari, dalla necessità di salvare le apparenze in nome dell'onore, insomma da tutti i meccanismi che hanno regolato l'ipocrisia della loro vita sociale, direbbero finalmente quello che, in vita, non hanno mai potuto dire. Un intero villaggio di morti improvvisamente coscienti della propria libertà di parola dà vita, in maniera quasi teatrale, ...more
S©aP
L'ombra della morte, per ridare alla vita le sue dimensioni. Per restituire il giusto senso alle cose, oltre lo scempio delle millanterie dei vivi. Una geniale intuizione, quella di di E.L.Masters, capace di rendere, in pochi tratti di poesia, tutte le profondità dell'esistenza.

PS - Interessantissimi e illuminanti i saggi introduttivi, di Fernanda Pivano e Cesare Pavese
Christina
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book about 50 times, in bits and pieces, and about a half-dozen from start to finish in order. I love it.

Let me start with what the book is about. This is a book of free-form poems that serves as a narrative, each poem told from the point of view of a resident of Spoon River who has died and who is telling their story after the fact, their own epitaph. Some poems go together, some stand alone, but they form the elaborate portrait of a community.

A seeming non-sequitur, perhaps,
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Ben Loory
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i admit that i probably love the idea of this book more than the actual book, but i love the idea of it so damn much that the actual thing still gets five stars. a portrait of a small american town through the from-the-dead poem-soliloquies of hundreds of its departed inhabitants, it's unlike any other book i've ever read. the dead folk discuss their lives and deaths and thoughts and beliefs and relationships with each other, the town, and the larger world. it's from the dead so there's a pronou ...more
Arwen56
Herbert Marshall

Tutto il tuo dolore, Louise, e l'odio per me nacquero dalla tua illusione che fosse capriccio dello spirito e disprezzo dei diritti della tua anima a spingermi verso Annabelle e lasciarti.
In realta' tu arrivasti a odiarmi per amore, perche' ero la gioia della tua anima, formato e temprato per risolverti la vita, ma non volli.
Tu invece eri il mio strazio. Se tu fossi stata la mia felicita', non mi sarei forse aggrappato a te?
Questo e' l'amaro della vita: che solo in due si puo'
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Franky
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edgar Lee Master’s Spoon River Anthology is a series of poems representing the voices of Spoon River, a fictional Southern town. The citizens, who speak from beyond the grave on The Hill, tell of their lives and those they knew, lamenting on various aspects of their past life. The poems have a dramatic monologue, epitaph-like quality; they are snapshots of emotion, philosophy, wisdom and morals from these residents.

The individual voices of Spoon River are quite diverse, as you might imagine. Mu
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Frahorus
Di fronte a un capolavoro poetico come questo non ci si può che inchinare. Geniale nella sua "polifonia", "L’antologia di Spoon River" è il sunto di molte vite, tutte accomunate da un luogo: Spoon River. Masters compila il suo capolavoro come una raccolta di epitaffi autobiografici dei vari personaggi che, nelle poche ultime righe racchiuse sulle loro lapidi, riassumono il senso di un’esistenza. Gli epitaffi recitati dai defunti dell’Illinois non fanno altro che offrire con estrema lucidità un p ...more
J.
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 2011-reads
After a full summer battling Infinite Jest (and thoroughly enjoying it), this book was welcome relief. It is a mix of homespun wisdom and incredibly insightful commentary. While very accessible, Masters is astute. He has a lot to say about living, death, and regret (and a surprising amount on lawyers). This is the kind of book you can give to your Grandma, with a nice note that says "I love you," and then have something to discuss over the holidays as you help her wash the dishes.

On morality's
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Alba LG
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"E se la gente vede che sai suonare,
be', ti tocca suonare, per tutta la vita."

Emanuela
Libro che avevo in casa da sempre ma che non ho mai affrontato perché non amo leggere poesie, a meno che non siano dirette, della specie "Szymborska", dove si capisce immediatamente il contenuto.
In effetti queste di Masters hanno un "tono narrativo" [cit.] e si leggono con una certa scioltezza.

Geniale, davvero geniale dar voce ai personaggi sotto le lapidi, la condizione ottimale per far dire loro, fuori da ogni convenzione o ipocrisia, ciò che pensano della propria esistenza.
Ho evidenziato alcu
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Sakura87
Breve nota esplicativa da leggersi prima della recensione:
Io non amo la poesia.
Ho letto quel tanto che la scuola e l’università hanno comandato, nonché qualche testo selezionato per mio piacere e cultura personale. Tra questi, mi è capitata tra le mani l’Antologia di Spoon River.
Tutto ciò, per anticiparvi che non sono un’esperta di poesia, dimentico sempre i nomi di tutte le figure retoriche, non m’importa molto del ritmo né della rima: le poesie che mi catturano il cuore, le amo per le immagini
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Jen
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This is a conceptually intriguing book in which the residents (represented by over 200 poems) of a small town cemetery speak from the grave about the truth as they see it, being free from social pressure or potential retribution to present themselves or others in a good light.

I think it's important to remember that Masters was a lawyer by profession, a person who had heard people's testimonies about incidents and different people and had seen how judges and juries dealt with them. This book isn'
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Owen
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, notable
To think of a small town cemetery is to imagine peace. So begins the foreword of Edgar Lee Master's Spoon River Anthology. If only there was peace while the residents were living, but that doesn't sound likely does it. Well, dead bodies can't really bicker that much can they? Maybe just a bit.

Small town life is often presented incorrectly. Have you seen the movie about the Mystic pizza place in Connecticut? I haven't, but I've been there. It's okay. My family went to the living history type plac
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Tristan
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, classic
The whole is far greater than the sum of its parts.

Edgar Lee Masters' great work is impressive in its scope; with over two hundred "epitaphs," each one an individual person, the collection takes apart small-town America in the early 20th century with astonishing precision. Masters makes no bones about the presence of corruption and cruelty (Thomas Rhodes is frequently indicted by the other dead), secret sins, everything that those who would have lived in a town like Spoon River saw every day of
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Fabiola
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mi sono accostata a questa raccolta - lo ammetto - dapprima incuriosita solo dal fatto che Fabrizio De André (il cielo l'abbia in gloria ♥) avesse composto un album con nove canzoni tutte ispirate da nove poesie contenute nell'Antologia.
Ho quindi cominciato il libro non ben sapendo cosa mi aspettasse, con curiosità e qualche dubbio (non che non mi piaccia la poesia, ma non la prediligo come genere. Mi piacciono alcune cose selezionate) e per la prima cinquantina circa di componimenti non avevo b
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Jay
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I grew up in Northwestern Illinois. I knew the land to the Southeast of us was fertile ground for poets, with Galesburg’s Carl Sandburg and Springfield’s Vachel Lindsay, and with Spoon River’s Edgar Lee Masters about halfway between. I have long known that Master’s “Spoon River Anthology” was a series of short poems based on names on the gravestones in a cemetery near the river, having learned that from my Dad’s copy of his high school Literature book. I’m not sure how my Dad ended up with a cop ...more
Thais
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E.L. Masters dà voce a una cittadina fantasma, e i suoi abitanti da sotto terra svelano i propri segreti, le proprie ossessioni e tutti gli scandali e i peccati più o meno gravi di cui si sono macchiati. Un coro di voci che si alternano e si rispondono, raccontando la vita dal punto di vista della morte.
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Edgar Lee Masters (Garnett, Kansas, August 23, 1868 - Melrose Park, Pennsylvania, March 5, 1950) was an American poet, biographer, and dramatist. He is the author of Spoon River Anthology, The New Star Chamber and Other Essays, Songs and Satires, The Great Valley, The Serpent in the Wilderness An Obscure Tale, The Spleen, Mark Twain: A Portrait, Lincoln: The Man, and Illinois Poems. In all, Master ...more
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“To this generation I would say:
Memorize some bit of verse of truth or beauty.”
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“To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire--
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.”
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