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mary mason

on 12 March 2013

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By: Edgar Lee Masters Richard Bone Actual Actual 8 And I chiseled for them whatever they wished,
9 All in ignorance of its truth. Actual 10 But later, as I lived among the people here,
11 I knew how near to the life
12 Were the epitaphs that were ordered for them when they died. Actual 13 But still I chiseled whatever they paid me to chisel
14 And made myself party to the false chronicles Actual 16 Even as the historian does who writes
17 Without knowing the truth,
18 Or because he is influenced to hide it. Actual 1 When I first came to Spoon River
2 I did not know whether what they told me Meaning 4 They would bring me an epitaph
5 And stand around the shop while I worked
6 And say "He was so kind," "He was wonderful,"
7 "She was the sweetest woman," "He was a consistent Christian." 1 When I first came Spoon River
2.-3. I didn’t know if they were telling the truth to me. Meaning 4. They would bring me the saying to carve in their tombstone.
5.And they watched me while i carved the sayings into the tombstone
6-7 They would tell me to carve things in the tombstones such as “He was so kind””He was wonderful””She was the sweetest woman “He was a consistent Christian” 3 Was true or false. 8.I carved whatever they wanted me to
9.not knowing whether it was true or not Meaning Meaning 10.the longer i lived with theses people
11-12 i knew them better and when i carved the sayings i felt like i was carving in lies about these people Meaning 15 Of the stones, 13 nonetheless i carved whatever they told me
14-15. I let myself believe the lies they told me to be on the stones Meaning 16.-17. Historians write without knowing whether it is true they just write what they know and what is on the stone.
18. they don’t tell the truth because they are trying to hide it. Edgar Lee Masters -started as a lawyer
-born in Garnett, Kansas
-son of a lawyer
-in Kansas because his father wanted to start a law practice there
-grew up in W. Illinois farmland where his grandparents were
until 1820s.
-his younger brother died at age 5 (1878)
-his best friend dies the next year (1879)
-educated in public schools in Pittsburgh and he worked as a
newspaper s printer after school
-spent a year in academy school hoping that the
following year he would go to college
- instead, he read more into law.
-bill collector in Chicago for a short time, and then created
a law partnership with his friend Kirkham Scarlan in 1893. Awards of Edgar Lee Masters Throughout the 1940s he received several literary awards, including...
~the Poetry Society of America medal,
~the Shelley Memorial Award, and
~the Academy of American Poets Fellowship Richard Bone

It could be about a man named Richard Bone.
It could be about a legend or mythological person. Connotation Diction Serious, past tense,
brutally honest,
flat, and literal. Imagery Author chisels
(Didn't use a lot of imagery) Doesn't use much because he wants to be to the point and it is distant. Point of View Details Symbolism Figurative Language Sound Devices Attitude Shifts Title Revisited Title Theme "When I first CAME to Spoon River..." First Person
Past Tense "He was so kind..."
Spoon River
Those were examples of inscriptions he wrote, and where he was. "They would bring me the epitaph..."
The epitaphs were the lies brought to him, they represented how dishonest the town was. Serious, honest, informative - author
Lying, hypocritical - character
Cold, distant, brutally honest - reader When the line "but later, as I lived among the people here..." comes, it shifts from his living perspective to his perspective after death. He knows that the people around him were hypocrites. "But still I chiseled whatever they paid me to chisel..." switches back to living perspective. It is about a man named Richard Bone, who makes a epitaphs for people. He knows the carvings he makes are hypocritical. The poet thinks that all people want to be remembered in the best way so they can be loved by people in the present and in the future. This can mean lying on someone's gravestone to indicate something that makes them look better. Once it is carved in stone, it is there forever. True or not it will always remain. The isn't much of this because the poem is very literal.

"And [they] would stand around shop while I worked..."
This doesn't mean the people actually sat around watching him carve, but they watched him closely to make sure he was doing his work right.

"And made myself party to the false chronicles..."
He doesn't literally fall, his mind gets into a certain state. Consonance: "When I first came to Spoon River
I did not know whether what they told me
Was true or false..." [the W sound is very prominent
throughout the entire poem.] Assonance All in ignorance of its truth. Deaths in Masters Life Richard Bone mentions a lot about people dying, and remembering those who have passed on.

This may be slightly influenced by the fact that he experienced his brother dying and his best friend dying at a very young age.
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