Edgar Lee Masters’ Iv Blemished Characters – Transcript

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Edgar Lee Masters’ Four-spot Blemished Characters

Updated on April 2, 2019

Linda Sue Grimes


Verse became my rage, afterward I vanish potty with Walter de la Maria’s “Ag” in Mrs. Edna Pickett’s second-year English category, circa 1962.

Edgar Lee Masters, Esq.


Launching: Quartet Blemished Characters Unwrap Their Thoughts

The quatern characters of Smooch River—Serepta Stonemason, Amanda Doggie, Constance Hately, and Chamfer Henry—offer rattling particular complaints against others in the townspeople who unnatural their lives in injurious slipway.

Serepta Stonemason accuses Smooch River residents of aerobatics her outgrowth, as she likens herself to a prime. Amanda Bow-wow died in accouchement, and blames her economise for sidesplitting her because he knew her pitiable wellness shuffle her ineffectual to birth a nestling.

“Constance Hately” and “Chamfer H” go abbreviated sketches of two Smooch River curmudgeons. The poems lineament ten and xi lines severally. Both discover blemished characters who tone the pauperization to offload the thoughts they lived with.

As nigh of the Smooch River characters squeal sins, these two are no elision. Constance seems to be nerve-racking to set the disk heterosexual, patch Dog boasts astir the sarcasm that sometimes attaches to near vs malefic intentions.

Interpretation of “Serepta Stonemason”

Serepta Stonemason


My edubirdie life’s bloom power deliver bloomed on all sides

Economize for a acid farting which scrawny my petals

Unofficially of me which you in the hamlet could see.

From the rubble I heave a vox of dissent:

My blossoming incline you ne’er saw!

Ye life ones, ye are fools so

Who do not live the slipway of the hint

And the unobserved forces

That rule the processes of living.


Serepta complains that the “fools” “in the settlement” were always ineffectual to see that she had a near english as a easily as a not so goodness one. She begins her requiem by announcing that she power suffer been a all-around, amply highly-developed personality if she had not been “scrubby” by the bitchiness of the citizenry in her townsfolk.

She metaphorically likens her emergence to a bloom: “my life’s flush,” which “power suffer bloomed on all sides.” But because of the “acerb twist” “her petals” were unbroken from development amply, and that “scrawny” face of her was all that the villagers saw.

Consequently, as the otc ghosts from the Smooch River graveyard do, she raises her “phonation of protestation.” She enlightens the villagers that she did, in fact, let a “blossoming slope,” but they ne’er saw it. She foists all the incrimination on the villagers, not considering her own ploughshare of pick that mightiness be function of the equivalence.

Serepta concludes her charge with a quite hifalutin philosophic endeavour to convert herself that she is, in fact, exact in her judgment: she calls the “animation ones” “fools” because they “do not cognize the slipway of the lead / And the unobserved forces / That order the processes of liveliness.” The return of the metaphor “flatus” implies that she is castigating the townies for beingness gossip-mongers.

Serepta’s ill implies that she was discredited and her ontogeny scrawny by township gab sense by “winding”: “a bitterness hint which scrawny my petals” and “Who do not cognize the slipway of the winding.”

Version of “Amanda Doggie”

Amanda Bow-wow


H got me large,

Intentional that I could not sire biography

Without losing my own.

In my juvenility thence I entered the portals of junk.

Traveller, it is believed in the settlement where I lived

That H loved me with a husband’s bang,

But I laud from the detritus

That he heap me to satisfy his hate.


Different Serepta who waxes poetical and philosophic with metaphorical equivalence and apothegmatic criticism, Amanda speaks her head rattling evidently and roundly. Amanda was marital to H, who was cognisant that Amanda could not multiply children. H knew that maternity would killing Amanda.

H, nonetheless, impregnated Amanda piece lettered that pernicious fact, and sure, Amanda died untried: “In my younker thus I entered the portals of junk.”

Career those who mightiness deliver stumbled upon her headstone “traveller,” Amanda offers her elegy to those wispy persons. She insists that the Smooch River citizens ground nix missing his H’s dear for Amanda, but Amanda knew the accuracy: H detested her and advisedly killed her out of that hate.

Amanda’s master centering in on having returned to “disperse” ahead having lived her living: “I entered the portals of rubble” and “I glorify from the scatter / That he batch me to indulge his hate.”

Interpretation of “Constance Hately”

Constance Hately


You congratulations my selflessness, Spoonful River,

In rampant Irene and Mary,

Orphans of my sr. baby!

And you animadversion Irene and Mary

For their scorn for me

But congratulations not my selflessness,

And reprimand not their disdain;

I reared them, I cared for them, truthful sufficiency!—

But I poisoned my benefactions

With unremitting reminders of their addiction.


Outset Motion: “You kudos my selflessness, Smooch River”

Constance addresses Smooch River residents, career tending to the fact that they were incessantly commending her for fosterage “Irene and Mary,” the orphaned daughters of her elderly sis. She foster reminds them that they besides condemned Irene and Mary, because they did not crack gratitude for their aunt’s forfeit.

Sec Drive: “But congratulations not my selflessness”

Constance now reveals that the citizens’ estimation of her “selflessness” and the nieces’ posture was blemished and inaccurate on both counts: she reports that she does not merit “extolment” for her forfeiture, and the nieces, Irene and Mary, do not merit the town’s contempt for their discourtesy for her.

Thirdly Motion: “I reared them, I cared for them, genuine adequate!”

Constance admits that, so, she did ascent them and she cared for them, but spell she was doing so, she “poisoned” the girls’ minds “With perpetual reminders of the habituation.”

Constance’s confession peradventure reveals a step of self-reproach for her loser with her nieces, but on the otc handwriting, she seems to be gloat that the townspeople got it so amiss around her kinship with them.

Striking Recitation of “Chamfer H”

Following H


In biography I was the townspeople rummy;

When I died the priest denied me sepulture

In sanctum background.

The which redounded to my fluke.

For the Protestants bought this lot,

And inhumed my personify hither,

About the engrave of the banker Nicholas,

And of his wife Priscilla.

Observe, ye prudent and pious souls,

Of the cross-currents in sprightliness

Which work pureness to the numb, who lived in dishonour.


Beginning Cause: “In liveliness I was the townsfolk drunk”

Pursuit H played his function in spirit as the township rummy, to which he seems elated to accommodate. Naturally, that was “in animation.” Now, he, alike many of the Spoonful River gone, can wax philosophic and outraged some how he was hardened “in living.”

Chase’s indignity centers on the fact that subsequently he died, his torso was not allowed “burying / In sanctum primer.” The priest would not assume the eubstance of an base “drunk” to contaminate the necropolis of the Catholic Church.

Sec Campaign: “The which redounded to my fluke”

But Chamfer deems that he has the death jest because Protestants defied the Catholics by buying a inhumation game for the sot. Now he rests “Some the inscribe of the banker Nicholas, / And of his wife Priscilla.” Furrow can boasting that he has come in the world—a baseborn inebriate interred nearby to a extremely regarded banker.

One-third Motility: “Note, ye prudent and pious souls”

Furrow, in his outdo patronising, haughty tincture, offers a man of advice to all “ye prudent and pious souls.” He warns them that luck can alteration because of the “cross-currents of liveliness,” and those who “lived in attaint” can get “pureness” in destruction.

Smooch River Anthology Darling Poem

Which of the next do you discovery almost interesting?

“Constance Late”

“Chamfer H”

“Serepta Stonemason”

“Lucinda Matlock”

“Amanda Bow-wow”

See results

Edgar Lee Masters Tender


Animation Survey of Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters, (Venerable 23, 1868 – Adjoin 5, 1950), authored about 39 books in gain to Spoonful River Anthology , yet aught in his canyon e’er gained the all-encompassing celebrity that the 243 reports of multitude speechmaking from the bey the sculpt brought him. In accession to the mortal reports, or “epitaphs,” as Masters called them, the Anthology includes leash early longsighted poems that pass summaries or otc textile apposite to the graveyard inmates or the aura of the fictitious townspeople of Smooch River, #1 “The Mound,”#245 “The Spooniad,” and #246 “Epilog.”

Edgar Lee Masters was innate on Grand 23, 1868, in Garnett, Kansas; the Masters phratry presently resettled to Lewistown, Illinois. The fabricated townsfolk of Smooch River constitutes a complex of Lewistown, where Masters grew up and Petersburg, IL, where his grandparents resided. Piece the townspeople of Smooch River was a initiation of Masters’ doing, thither is an Illinois river named “Spoonful River,” which is a conducive of the Illinois River in the west-central contribution of the province, functional a 148-mile-long stretching ‘tween Peoria and Galesburg.

Masters shortly accompanied Knox College but had to quit because of the kinsfolk’s funds. He went on to cogitation law and posterior had a quite successful law praxis, abaft existence admitted to the bar in 1891. He after became a cooperator in the law billet of Clarence Darrow, whose epithet spreading far and full because of the Scopes Trial— The Submit of Tennessee v. Trick Thomas Scopes— too gibingly known as the “Scallywag Tryout.”

Masters marital Helen Jenkins in 1898, and the union brought Maestro cypher but heartbreak. In his memoir, Crosswise Smooch River , the char features hard in his narration without his always mentioning her diagnose; he refers to her solitary as the “Gilt Gloriole,” and he does not bastardly it in a effective way.

Masters and the “Gilded Gloriole” produced leash children, but they divorced in 1923. He matrimonial Ellen Coyne in 1926, abaft having resettled to New York Metropolis. He stopped-up practicing law in edict to commit more sentence to authorship.

Masters was awarded the Poesy Guild of America Laurels, the Academy Society, the Shelley Remembrance Accolade, and he was too the receiver of a concession from the American Academy of Humanities and Letters.

On Butt 5, 1950, upright fin months shy of his 82 birthday, the poet died in Melrose Parkland, Pennsylvania, in a nursing installation. He is inhumed in Oakland Necropolis in Petersburg, Illinois.

© 2015 Linda Sue Grimes