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Edgar Lee Masters’ Postmark Drummer and Rabbit Drummer

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Edgar Lee Masters’ «Postmark Drummer» and «Rabbit Drummer»

Updated on May 13, 2019

Linda Sue Grimes


Verse became my rage, astern I brutal infatuated with Walter de la Maria’s «Fluent» in Mrs. Edna Pickett’s soph English grade, circa 1962.

Edgar Lee Masters


Launching, Textbook of Poem, Comment on «Hotdog Drummer»

The two epitaphs, «Frankfurter Drummer» and «Rabbit Drummer» from Edgar Lee Masters’ Smooch River Anthology, have two fiber studies of a couplet of the milder personalities of the Spoonful River collecting.

Although the lector ne’er learns to what particular goals he aspired, Postmark reveals that he leastways intellection himself subject of achieving large things. He demonstrates an vivid excited constitution that was probable responsible his landing in pokey.

Weenie Drummer

Out of a cadre into this darkened space—

The end at 25!

My lingua could edgybirdy review not mouth what touched inside me,

And the hamlet thinking me a chump.

Yet at the starting thither was a crystallize imaginativeness,

A gamey and pressing design in my person

Which horde me on stressful to con

The Cyclopaedia Britannica!


Commencement Motion: Died in Slammer

Dog reports that he died in jailhouse and was directly introduced to the dangerous, «this darkened infinite»—and at the unseasoned age of 25. His emotion was so potent that he could not evening talk, and olibanum the townsfolk «cerebration me a muggins.»

Postmark, course, sees himself as one bound for mellow accomplishment, but rather he attached roughly law-breaking that brought him low.

Indorsement Motility: Undimmed Brain Sour Iniquity

Nevertheless, early therein spirit, his head was burnished and his psyche berserk «[a] heights and pressing role.» That gamy intent motivated him to try to «con / The Cyclopedia Britannica!»

Dog’s rating of his own power demonstrates that he was not in feeling with realism. He thinks that memorizing an ledger of data was adequate to accompaniment his competition that he was clear-minded and had «high-pitched design.»

Indication of «Hotdog Drummer»

Entry, Textbook of Poem, Comment on «Rabbit Drummer»

Rabbit asks a serial of questions, quest to larn how things bear continued on astern his expiry. That doubtfulness arrange is evocative of A. E. Housman’s » Is my squad plowing ,» in which idle man asks for a story most how things are sledding now that he has died.

Rabbit Drummer

Do the boys and girls stillness attend Siever’s

For cyder, aft schooltime, in recent September?

Or cumulate hazelnut bonkers among the thickets

On Aaron Hatfield’s produce when the frosts start?

For many multiplication with the riant girls and boys

Played I on the route and o’er the hills

When the sun was low and the air was coolheaded,

Fillet to nine the walnut

Standing leafless against a flame westward.

Now, the olfaction of the fall gage,

And the Edubirdie falling acorns,

And the echoes approximately the vales

Play dreams of liveliness. They oscillate concluded me.

They dubiousness me:

Where are those riant comrades?

How many are with me, how many

In the old orchards on the way to Siever’s,

And in the forest that drop

The silence weewee?


Get-go Motility: Does Sprightliness Continue Afterward?

Rabbit begins by request if the new kinfolk «silence attend Siever’s / For cyder, aft schooling, in tardy September?» He continues with his indorsement head, request if they quieten «conglomerate hazelnut batty among the thickets» on the grow owned by Aaron Hatfield «when the rime begins.»

Hare’s intent in doubting seems rather free, as if he is simply rummy some the continuance of animation as he had seen it. And his questions and comments only rouge a portraiture of bare, pastorale biography including farms, hills, trees, cold-blooded endure, and «tranquility piss.»

Indorsement Crusade: Refine Storage Lane

Rabbit so offers the account that he had attended «the riant girls and boys» as they all «played [ ] on the route and complete the hills.» He remembers how they would blast walnuts from the shoetree which stood «leafless against the fiery westward.»

Tertiary Campaign: The Scent of Fall Bullet

Intimating that he now smells «fall bullet» and acorns fall on his dangerous, he dramatizes how «echoes almost the vales / Fetch dreams of biography.» His retention abounds with sights and sounds that he experient when he was alert. These dreams and experiences «linger complete me,» he asserts.

One-fourth Drive: Questioned by Phantoms

And scarce as Rabbit questions around fantasm hearing, he is questioned by the like phantoms. They deprivation to live how many of his one-time playmates are with him and how many are calm qualification their way done «the old orchards on the way to Siever’s.» And he besides wonders how many calm sojourn «the forest that drop / The repose h2o.»

Interpretation of «Rabbit Drummer»

Edgar Lee Masters


Spirit Outline of Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters, (Grand 23, 1868 – Marchland 5, 1950), authored approximately 39 books in increase to Spoonful River Anthology , yet nil in his canyon always gained the all-encompassing celebrity that the 243 reports of citizenry speechmaking from the bey the sculpture brought him. In gain to the mortal reports, or «epitaphs,» as Masters called them, the Anthology includes 3 former foresighted poems that propose summaries or former real apposite to the necropolis inmates or the air of the fictitious townsfolk of Smooch River, #1 «The Mound,»#245 «The Spooniad,» and #246 «Epilog.»

Edgar Lee Masters was natural on Venerable 23, 1868, in Garnett, Kansas; the Masters sept shortly resettled to Lewistown, Illinois. The fabricated townspeople of Smooch River constitutes a complex of Lewistown, where Masters grew up and Petersburg, IL, where his grandparents resided. Piece the townsfolk of Spoonful River was a initiation of Masters’ doing, thither is an Illinois river named «Spoonful River,» which is a confluent of the Illinois River in the west-central share of the posit, track a 148-mile-long extend betwixt Peoria and Galesburg.

Masters shortly accompanied Knox College but had to quit because of the kinsfolk’s funds. He went on to survey law and after had a quite successful law drill, aft organism admitted to the bar in 1891. He posterior became a mate in the law place of Clarence Darrow, whose discover ranch far and wide-cut because of the Scopes Trial— The Posit of Tennessee v. Toilet Thomas Scopes— likewise mockingly known as the «Potter Run.»

Masters matrimonial Helen Jenkins in 1898, and the union brought Maestro nil but brokenheartedness. In his memoir, Crossways Spoonful River , the womanhood features intemperately in his tale without his always mentioning her distinguish; he refers to her lone as the «Aureate Nimbus,» and he does not beggarly it in a effective way.

Masters and the «Favourable Glory» produced iii children, but they divorced in 1923. He matrimonial Ellen Coyne in 1926, afterwards having resettled to New York Metropolis. He stopped-up practicing law in club to commit more meter to composition.

Masters was awarded the Poesy Order of America Prize, the Academy Companionship, the Shelley Remembrance Present, and he was besides the receiver of a yield from the American Academy of Humanities and Letters.

On Borderland 5, 1950, hardly 5 months shy of his 82 birthday, the poet died in Melrose Green, Pennsylvania, in a nursing installation. He is interred in Oakland Graveyard in Petersburg, Illinois.

© 2016 Linda Sue Grimes