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“To be an editor, as I was.” Editor Whedon by Edgar Lee Masters 

To be able to see every side of every question;
To be on every side, to be everything, to be nothing long;
To pervert truth, to ride it for a purpose,
To use great feelings and passions of the human family
For base designs, for cunning ends,
To wear a mask like the Greek actors—
Your eight-page paper—behind which you huddle,
Bawling through the megaphone of big type:
“This is I, the giant.”
Thereby also living the life of a sneak-thief,
Poisoned with the anonymous words
Of your clandestine soul.
To scratch dirt over scandal for money,
And exhume it to the winds for revenge,
Or to sell papers,
Crushing reputations, or bodies, if need be,
To win at any cost, save your own life.
To glory in demoniac power, ditching civilization,
As a paranoiac boy puts a log on the track
And derails the express train.
To be an editor, as I was.
Then to lie here close by the river over the place
Where the sewage flows from the village,
And the empty cans and garbage are dumped,
And abortions are hidden.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kevin Shaughan Dickson February 8, 2021, 9:05 AM

    This was really good.

  • Terry February 8, 2021, 9:08 AM

    All I can say is, WOW. That knocked it out of the ball park.

  • James ONeil February 8, 2021, 9:32 AM

    “Your eight page paper…”
    I’ve been reading The Alaska Citizen, an eight page paper. Here’s an October 1910 edition, when I think masters was in his thirties:


  • Minta Marie Morze February 8, 2021, 5:50 PM

    I first read Spoon River Anthology, a poetic collection of invented epitaphs from a village, when I was about 9 years old. I was transfixed by the wisdom in the passages, and by the fact that it was superb poetry—both my mind and my passions were engaged. That was 62 years ago, and the poetry and messages still deeply move me.
    It breaks my heart that such books are not considered part of the woke education.

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