I love Spoon River Anthology, and having some of my favorite stage performers and others speak from beyond the grave seemed like a neat idea. I don't know any of the mechanics of poetry, so this will no doubt be wrong in so many ways.


Edwin Booth

(1833-1893)

I am a man accursed.

Brothers and sisters were whisked away from sickness.

My father died stark mad.

Molly Devlin was mine for but a few tender years.

I wed the demented McVicker woman,

and found Hell visited upon me.

She lingered, far too long.

My brother slew a saint.

What was left to me?

A daughter beyond compare,

And a company of old friends.

A closet of old coats, ready to wear

and comfortably worn:

Richard, Othello, Richelieu, Hamlet, Brutus.

Grand and Tragic men all.

What a joke:

that a spindly bastard son from Maryland could make continents weep.

How shocked they would be to know I found glad escape

in the tirades, the overwrought grief.

Shakespeare wrote my turmoil better than I ever could.