Reality through poetry Contrary to the public’s expectation of what poetry should be, “Spoon River Anthology’ gave birth to the most unconventional book of poetry. The poems blunt representation of private yet ordinary lives and its lack of rhymes and verses caused a great controversy. Individually, the poems portrayed extremely realistic situations that most people would ignore but as a whole, Masters showed signs of compassion amidst bitter irony and blunt honesty. The ability to express one’s emotions through writing to the point where the reader could fit themselves into the shoes of the speaker is an exceptional gift.
The poem “Abel MelvenY’ makes one think about life in general. What’s the point of getting so much if you are not going to enjoy what you get? In the poem, the speaker compares his wasted abilities to the farm equipment he had no use for. The speaker feels as if he did not live his life to the fullest; the sad part about it is, he saw himself as one of the machines he bought that “Life had never used. ” The speaker realized he had not made much of his time when he noticed that “all of them stood in the rain and sun, getting rusted, warped and battered. After it rains on a piece of metal and hat metal is exposed to the oxygen in the atmosphere, it begins to corrode and eventually fall apart. This time consuming process is the author’s representation of the precious time he had wasted. At this point the speaker is remorseful but could not do anything about it because he had gotten close to his end “There by my window, growing clearer about myself, as my pulse slowed down. ” The reality of life is that, we need not wait for “Life” to use us; we need to do something in order to make a life. The druggist in “Trainor, the Druggist” made the most out of his life by becoming a harmacist.
As a pharmacist, he understood the fundamentals of chemistry and tried to apply it to real life situations. Trainor the Druggist attempted to explain the compatibility of a troubled couple through a subject well known to him, chemistry. He represented Benjamin Pantier and his wife as two of the most basic elements of the periodic table, hydrogen and oxygen. Through these chemicals, the author uses symbolism to explain that Benjamin Pantier and his wife’s separation resulted in aggravating their son’s wildness. The author described their son’s wildness as “a evastating fire” because oxygen and hydrogen on their own are flammable gases.
Conversely, their combination to form water (H20) could have quenched their son’s flames. When couples split at some point in their relationship, it is frequently due to the fact that they realize they are no longer compatible with each other. The children, if any are the ones that go through the most trouble. What Trainor is essentially claiming is the harsh reality of what most children go through as a result of their parents’ separation. This is the reason why Trainor the druggist “Lived unwedded. ” Perhaps if couples were truthful with each other, their union could be as soothing as water.
The truth is not an easy thing to digest no matter how it is put. As humans, we tend to be economical with the truth and sometimes lie in order not to hurt the ones we love. wnat oTten nappens Trom tnese situations Is tnat, tne message Is not properly delivered and thus becomes ineffective. This I believe is the reason for Edgar Lee Masters’s blunt honesty. WORKS CITED Masters, Edgar Lee. “Trainor the druggist. ” “Abel Melveny. ” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Gen. ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 8th ed. Volume D. New York: Norton, 2012. print.