Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Today's Poem - Hare Drummer by Edgar Lee Masters

Autumn began in my part of the world at 9:30 this morning when the sun went into Libra. I went back to my beloved 

for a poem to share. This is from Masters' Spoon River Anthology which is a collection of poems that are epitaphs of people who lived in Spoon River. You may read more about it here. It has been a very long time since I've read it or thought about it. Tom remembers he didn't like it, and I wonder if we were both too young to understand. I feel encouraged to pick it up again since I really loved this poem. I'm much closer to the age for an epitaph now! šŸ˜²

Hare Drummer

Do the boys and girls still go to Siever's

For cider, after school, in late September?

Or gather hazel nuts among the thickets

On Aaron Hatfield's farm when the frosts begin?

For many times with the laughing girls and boys

Played I along the road and over the hills

When the sun was low and the air was cool,

Stopping to club the walnut tree

Standing leafless against a flaming west.

Now, the smell of autumn smoke,

And the dropping acorns,

And the echoes about the vales

Bring dreams of life. They hover over me.

They question me:

Where are those laughing comrades?

How many are with me, how many

In the old orchards along the way to Siever's,

And in the woods that overlook

The quiet water?

Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) 


  1. Autumn is a nostalgic time ...I’ve thought because it brings all the back to school memories . (And yes, Where are they all now?). .... You may be close to the time for an epitaph, but if you are, it is too late for me!

    1. Thanks for reading the poem - usually my least read posts!!
      Haha re: your last sentence!

  2. I read poems! That line about clubbing the walnut tree: is that referencing 'A woman, a dog and a walnut tree, The more you beat them the better they be.' do you think? I'm not keen on beating anything ;-)

    1. I wonder if it was to make the walnuts come off? Kids are not, and esp in the past, not so kind to nature.

  3. I have outlived so many of my high school friends. They left far too soon, years and years they missed out on. I think about this often and count every day my feet touch the floor in the morning as a gift.

    1. I'm so sad to hear this. Would that we all could be thankful for that gift each morning.

  4. I just came across this post. I think this small poem is an overlooked American gem along with Master's "Mrs Kessler", also from Spoon River Anthology. When I read the latter poem I think of Mr John Kinsella's words about Mrs Mary Moore in Yeat's poem- "and being old she put a skin on everything she said-"

    1. I just went to read Mrs Kessler. Thank you. It is really so good. Those people she did laundry for had no idea of all she learned about them. Amazing.
      I also read the Yeat's poem. I hadn't read it before.
      Thanks for coming by and taking the time to leave a note!


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