Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > The New Poetry: An Anthology
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  The New Poetry: An Anthology.  1917.
 
223. Spoon River Anthology
 
Seth Compton
 
By Edgar Lee Masters
 
 
WHEN I died, the circulating library
Which I built up for Spoon River,
And managed for the good of inquiring minds,
Was sold at auction on the public square,
As if to destroy the last vestige        5
Of my memory and influence.
For those of you who could not see the virtue
Of knowing Volney’s Ruins as well as Butler’s Analogy
And Faust as well as Evangeline,
Were really the power in the village,        10
And often you asked me,
“What is the use of knowing the evil in the world?”
I am out of your way now, Spoon River—
Choose your own good and call it good.
For I could never make you see        15
That no one knows what is good
Who knows not what is evil;
And no one knows what is true
Who knows not what is false.
 

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