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This is from Edgar Lee Masters' anthology of poems about the deceased inhabitants of an American town. The poems give the reader an idea of who they really were in life. In many cases their dark side was hidden to the public eye. Does this newpaper editor remind you of anyone you know?:
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 feelings and passions of the human family
For base designs, for cunning ends,
To wear a mask like the Greeks actors—
Your eight-page paper—behind which you huddle,
Bawling through the megaphone of big type:
“This is I, the giant.”
Thereby also living the life of a sneak-thief,
Poisoned with the anonymous words
Of your clandestine soul.
To scratch dirt over scandal for money,
And exhume it to the winds for revenge,
Or to sell papers,
Crushing reputations, or bodies, if need be,
To win at any cost, save your own life.
To glory in demoniac power, ditching civilization,
As a paranoiac boy puts a log on the track
And derails the express train.
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 abortions are hidden.
Edgar Lee Masters
Spoon River Anthology ~ 1915
I never gave them hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell. ~ Harry Truman
Apr/4/2009, 7:53 pm
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