April 4, 2012

"Margaret Fuller Slack," by Edgar Lee Masters

Following up on yesterday's post, here is my favorite poem by Edgar Lee Masters from his Spoon River Anthology.  If you haven't read the book, it's fascinating.  It gets right to the heart of some of my deepest fears. And perhaps yours?

Albert Lynch, Portrait of an Elegant Lady

Margaret Fuller Slack

by Edgar Lee Masters 

I WOULD have been as great as George Eliot
But for an untoward fate.
For look at the photograph of me made by Penniwit,
Chin resting on hand, and deep-set eyes—
Gray, too, and far-searching.
But there was the old, old problem:
Should it be celibacy, matrimony or unchastity?
Then John Slack, the rich druggist, wooed me,
Luring me with the promise of leisure for my novel,
And I married him, giving birth to eight children,
And had no time to write.
It was all over with me, anyway,
When I ran the needle in my hand
While washing the baby’s things,
And died from lock-jaw, an ironical death.
Hear me, ambitious souls,
Sex is the curse of life!

No comments: