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.

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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