Shameful: A Spoon River Verse

You stood above me
your hands touching
absent letters in
my nameless grave.

Clearly, that’s how much
you hate having me.
Even a name, just a name,
feels so expensive, so costly.

With shameful smile you begin to cry
for a soul you willingly let die.
The heartbeat you created,
is the same life you ended.

Are you proud now, Mom?

Photo credit: Unsplash

In response to OctPoWriMo 2016 by Morgan Dragonwillow‘s Day 14.

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.
  • dramatic.
  • 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.
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36 thoughts on “Shameful: A Spoon River Verse

  1. Wow, deep and troubling, sister. As it’s supposed to be. The first stanza creates an image and an action that are gripping. Then the lines, “Even a name, just a name,/feels so expensive, so costly.” They speak more deeply and dramatically of the wrongs done to the narrator. Powerful!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a horribly sad poem that speaks for so many of the babies of this world. 😦

    I really enjoyed this poem style, Rosema. I think that some of my poems are written like this, only I didn’t know it had an “official” name for the style. It is just what came out of me. Thank you for including the poem type in your posts.

    Have a blessed weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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