Beneath the Mango Tree: A Spoon River Verse*
My heart hasn’t beaten, lungs didn’t breathe even. No one knows my fragile body was laid beneath the mango tree, behind a house that’s shabby, where she lived— my unknown mommy.
It was war time when she was raped, a faceless man brought her early grave. In split second, I felt the magnitude, of her pain, and love, her motherly attitude. But I am weak and I gave in, away from her arms towards hundred years of solitude.
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*Spoon River Verse is a subgenre of Mask or Persona poetry. The term is inspired by the Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, American Poet (1869-1950). The anthology is a series of poems written as if each poem was being spoken by the dead. The setting is a cemetery in an imaginary western town, Spoon River. The voices make up a ‘history’ of the town’s past residents and their relationships.
The Spoon River poem is a poem of voice. The poem speaks from and for a person, not necessarily the poet. The subject, diction and imagery should reflect the character who is speaking through the poem.
Spoon River Verse is:
- framed at the discretion of the poet.
- written in the voice of a character of a particular time and place. Usually the voice comes from the grave. The person, the era, the location should all be heard through the words of the poem.