Yee Bow

By Edgar Lee Masters 1868–1950
They got me into the Sunday-school
In Spoon River
And tried to get me to drop Confucius for Jesus.
I could have been no worse off
If I had tried to get them to drop Jesus for Confucius.
For, without any warning, as if it were a prank,
And sneaking up behind me, Harry Wiley,
The minister's son, caved my ribs into my lungs,
With a blow of his fist.
Now I shall never sleep with my ancestors in Pekin,
And no children shall worship at my grave.

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Poet Edgar Lee Masters 1868–1950

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Religion, Living, Social Commentaries, Death

Poetic Terms Persona

 Edgar Lee Masters

Biography

Edgar Lee Masters is best remembered for his great collection Spoon River Anthology, a sequence of over two hundred free-verse epitaphs spoken from the cemetery of the town of Spoon River. When the collection first saw publication in 1915, it caused a great sensation because of its forthrightness about sex, moral decay, and hypocrisy; but its cynical view of Midwestern small town values influenced a whole generation of writers . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Living, Social Commentaries, Death

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Persona

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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