Alfred Moir

Why was I not devoured by self-contempt,
And rotted down by indifference
And impotent revolt like Indignation Jones?
Why, with all of my errant steps
Did I miss the fate of Willard Fluke?
And why, though I stood at Burchard's bar,
As a sort of decoy for the house to the boys
To buy the drinks, did the curse of drink
Fall on me like rain that runs off,
Leaving the soul of me dry and clean?
And why did I never kill a man
Like Jack McGuire?
But instead I mounted a little in life,
And I owe it all to a book I read.
But why did I go to Mason City,
Where I chanced to see the book in a window,
With its garish cover luring my eye?
And why did my soul respond to the book,
As I read it over and over?

by Edgar Lee Masters

Comments (9)

THE FIRST PART: because they cannot be posted in ONE WHOLE, so I have divided inti THREE PARTS: My CONGRATS to the Family of the Classic Poet. Such a greatest JOY to read this very intelligent poem of The DAY. Full of metaphors and bit irony. It is here an obvious fact that the poet was not addicted to alcohol,
THE SECOND PART: as he declared himself as dry and clean BUT he made hints to the present famous persons in society at his time. All I know is that the poet loved a very lot reading books that he described in the last FIVE lines. I must admit that I had to read this poem at the least twice. Perhaps thrice.
THE LAST PART: A very enjoyable Classic poem with tints of light irony. With the very best wishes, a TEN for this entertaining poem, sincerely Sylvia Frances Chan AD Saturday 9 Dec 2017 at 1.35 hrs. AM West European Time.
Fall on me! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
From the Spoon River Anthology I'm guessing, the above poem by itself loses something without knowing who the other people are the speaker refers to. I like how straightforward it is and the descriptive language—devoured and rotted great verbs in their contexts, and impotent and errant great adjectives in theirs. What was the book? I'd like to know. And the closing four lines are mysteries that I share which bring to my mind the idea of destiny. GK
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