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Editor Whedon

by Edgar Lee Masters, 1916

To be able to see every side of every question
 To be on every side, to be everything, to be nothing long;
 To pervert truth, to ride it for a purpose,
 To use great feelings and passions of the human family
 For base designs, for cunning ends,
 To wear a mask like the Greeks actors—
 Your eight-page paper—behind which you huddle,
 Bawling through the megaphone of big type:
 "This is I, the giant."
 Thereby also living the life of a sneak-thief,
 Poisoned with the anonymous words
 Of your clandestine soul.
 To scratch dirt over scandal for money,
 And exhume it to the winds for revenge,
 Or to sell papers,
 Crushing reputations, or bodies, if need be,
 To win at any cost, save your own life.
 To glory in demoniac power, ditching civilization,
 As a paranoiac boy puts a log on the track
 And derails the express train.
 To be an editor, as I was.
 Then to lie here close by the river over the place
 Where the sewage flows from the village,
 And the empty cans and garbage are dumped,
 And abortions are hidden.

Published in Spoon River Anthology

Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.