A Poem For Journalists

July 16, 2012

All Posts, Cheese Whiz, Editorials

The press of the Spoon River Clarion was wrecked,
And I was tarred and feathered,
For publishing this on the day the Anarchists were hanged in Chicago:
“I saw a beautiful woman with bandaged eyes
Standing on the steps of a marble temple.
Great multitudes passed in front of her,
Lifting their faces to her imploringly.
In her left hand she held a sword.
She was brandishing the sword,
Sometimes striking a child, again a laborer,
Again a slinking woman, again a lunatic.
In her right hand she held a scale;
Into the scale pieces of gold were tossed
By those who dodged the strokes of the sword.
A man in a black gown read from a manuscript:
‘She is no respecter of persons.’
Then a youth wearing a red cap
Leaped to her side and snatched away the bandage.
And lo, the lashes had been eaten away
From the oozy eye-lids;
The eye-balls were seared with a milky mucus;
The madness of a dying soul
Was written on her face—
But the multitude saw why she wore the bandage.”
Edgar Lee Masters, 1916

12 Responses to “A Poem For Journalists”

  1. troyez Says:

    Thanks Rebel,
    Kudos my friend.

  2. Bill Says:


  3. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    Rebel, where do you find all this obscure stuff? Timeless.

    YYZ Skinhead

  4. DesertH-D Says:

    Damn. Helluva post.
    1916… Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  5. Rebel Says:

    Dear XYZ Skinhead,

    I read a lot. The poem is from Spoon River Anthology. Edgar Lee Masters wrote 50 books. Spoon River Anthology was the only one that sold. I always thought this poem, titled “Carl Hamblin,” nicely described a journalist with a set of balls. And, I thought I would run it yesterday because apparently no reporter in the Carolinas has the huevos to cover the Bifield case. I thought maybe I might shame somebody with greater resources than I have into taking a look at USA v Bifield et al.



  6. swampy Says:

    Rebel, that’s a great poem, I must have read it a dozen times. I’ll have to look more into Edgar Lee Masters. Thank you for all the great work that you do.
    With the highest regards and respect,

  7. RLG Says:

    `Joy upon joy and gain upon gain
    Are the destined rights of my birth,
    And I shout the praise of my endless days
    To the echoing edge of the earth.
    Though I suffer all deaths that a man can die
    To the uttermost end of time,
    I have deep-drained this, my cup of bliss,
    In every age and clime—

    The froth of Pride, the tang of Power,
    The sweet of Womanhood!
    I drain the lees upon my knees,
    For oh, the draught is good;
    I drink to Life, I drink to Death,
    And smack my lips with song,
    For when I die, another `I’ shall pass the cup along.

    `The man you drove from Eden’s grove
    Was I, my Lord, was I,
    And I shall be there when the earth and the air
    Are rent from sea to sky;
    For it is my world, my gorgeous world,
    The world of my dearest woes,
    From the first faint cry of the newborn
    To the rack of the woman’s throes. (cont…)

  8. RLG Says:

    `Packed with the pulse of an unborn race,
    Torn with a world’s desire,
    The surging flood of my wild young blood
    Would quench the judgment fire.
    I am Man, Man, Man, from the tingling flesh
    To the dust of my earthly goal,
    From the nestling gloom of the pregnant womb
    To the sheen of my naked soul.
    Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh
    The whole world leaps to my will,
    And the unslaked thirst of an Eden cursed
    Shall harrow the earth for its fill.
    Almighty God, when I drain life’s glass
    Of all its rainbow gleams,
    The hapless plight of eternal night
    Shall be none too long for my dreams.

    `The man you drove from Eden’s grove
    Was I, my Lord, was I,
    And I shall be there when the earth and the air
    Are rent from sea to sky;
    For it is my world, my gorgeous world,
    The world of my dear delight,
    From the brightest gleam of the Arctic stream
    To the dusk of my own love-night.’ “

  9. Phoenix1988 Says:

    On Laws

    Then a lawyer said, “But what of our Laws, master?”
    And he answered:
    You delight in laying down laws,
    Yet you delight more in breaking them.
    Like children playing by the ocean who build sand-towers with constancy and then destroy them with laughter.
    But while you build your sand-towers the ocean brings more sand to the shore,
    And when you destroy them, the ocean laughs with you.
    Verily the ocean laughs always with the innocent.
    But what of those to whom life is not an ocean, and man-made laws are not sand-towers,
    But to whom life is a rock, and the law a chisel with which they would carve it in their own likeness?
    What of the cripple who hates dancers?
    What of the ox who loves his yoke and deems the elk and deer of the forest stray and vagrant things?
    What of the old serpent who cannot shed his skin, and calls all others naked and shameless?
    And of him who comes early to the wedding-feast, and when over-fed and tired goes his way saying that all feasts are violation and all feasters law-breakers?
    What shall I say of these save that they too stand in the sunlight, but with their backs to the sun?
    They see only their shadows, and their shadows are their laws.
    And what is the sun to them but a caster of shadows?
    And what is it to acknowledge the laws but to stoop down and trace their shadows upon the earth?
    But you who walk facing the sun, what images drawn on the earth can hold you?
    You who travel with the wind, what weathervane shall direct your course?
    What man’s law shall bind you if you break your yoke but upon no man’s prison door?
    What laws shall you fear if you dance but stumble against no man’s iron chains?
    And who is he that shall bring you to judgment if you tear off your garment yet leave it in no man’s path?
    People of Orphalese, you can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?

    Kahlil Gibran The Prophet 1923

  10. fayettenamhoe Says:

    i wrote this to a dead man a while back, i think he was a lane splitter too, “there is no future in lies, death is our friend, we haunt, we can’t wait, what was free now has become a curse, we all try not to be come a sack full of other peoples bullshit, free is to hard, death has been the easiest way out , 900 pennyes, 9.dollars is never enough, good luck for you, i like being poor, i feel sorry for the mans child, i feel worse for what they tried to beleive in, i know i won’t make it, i self destruct, please stop killing yourselves, the man is trying to do it to you enough. don’t let the cash ruin you, the money blinds people, file the piont, the pencil has more lead, Money, Money, Money, don’t let it rule you,,guns to the head, who? next, running out of followers” lest we all could ride in peace, no i-phone involved, only the chains on my heels, and maybe i could slow down and watch you scream, don’t call me a rebel as i eat yo mammas pussey

  11. fayettenamhoe Says:

    hush, its been awile

  12. FF Says:

    Fayette Nam Hoe, was this you back in the 70’s:


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