Thursday, February 7, 2008

Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters was the first major twentieth century writer to emphasize the psychological rather than the sociological in delineating the American character. After years of writing traditional poems on traditional themes inspired particularly by his reading of English Romantic writers, he turned in his early forties to the inhabitants of the towns where he was raised for subject matter. Using The Greek Anthology (a collection of short, epigrammatic Greek poems collated between the first and fourteenth centuries) as his model, and with the encouragement of William Marion Reedy, he produced a landmark in American poetry when his Spoon River Anthology was published in 1915. His attitude was that of the naturalists immediately preceding him; he explored the biological, political, economic, social, and sexual forces at work in a small town, centering his focus on the minds of his characters and emphasizing the sterility in village thought in a society where tradition had broken down.

poetry
The Harmony of Deeper Music: Posthumous Poems, 1976
Along the Illinois, 1942
Illinois Poem, 1941
More People, 1939
The New World, 1937
Poems of People, 1936
The Golden Fleece of California, 1936
Invisible Landscapes, 1935
The Serpent in the Wilderness, 1933
Lichee Nuts, 1930
The Fate of the Jury: An Epilogue to Domesday Book, 1929
Selected Poems, 1925
The New Spoon River, 1924
The Open Sea, 1921
Domesday Book, 1920
Starved Rock, 1919
Toward the Gulf, 1918
The Great Valley, 1916
Songs and Satires, 1916
Spoon River Anthology, 1915
Songs and Sonnets, Second Series, 1912
Songs and Sonnets, 1910
The Blood of the Prophets, 1905
A Book of Verses, 1898

long fiction
The Tide of Time, 1937
Kit O’Brien, 1927
Mirage, 1924
Skeeters Kirby, 1923
The Nuptial Flight, 1923
Children of the Market Place, 1922
Mitch Miller, 1920

drama
Richmond, pb., 1934
Dramatic Duologues, pb., 1934
Godbey, pb., 1931
Gettysburg, Manila, Acoma, pb., 1930
Jack Kelso, pb., 1928
Lee: A Dramatic Poem, pb., 1926
The Bread of Idleness, pb., 1911
The Locket, pb., 1910
Eileen, pb., 1910
The Leaves of the Tree, pb., 1909
The Trifler, pb., 1908
Althea, pb., 1907

nonfiction
The Sangamon, 1942
Mark Twain, a Portrait, 1938
Walt Whitman, 1937
Across Spoon River, 1936
Vachel Lindsay: A Poet in America, 1935
The Tale of Chicago, 1933
Lincoln, the Man, 1931
Levy Mayer and the New Industrial Era, 1927

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