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Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950). Spoon River Anthology. 1916.

192. Ippolit Konovaloff

I WAS a gun-smith in Odessa.

One night the police broke in the room

Where a group of us were reading Spencer.

And seized our books and arrested us.

But I escaped and came to New York

And thence to Chicago, and then to Spoon River,

Where I could study my Kant in peace

And eke out a living repairing guns!

Look at my moulds! My architectonics!

One for a barrel, one for a hammer,

And others for other parts of a gun!

Well, now suppose no gun-smith living

Had anything else but duplicate moulds

Of these I show you—well, all guns

Would be just alike, with a hammer to hit

The cap and a barrel to carry the shot,

All acting alike for themselves, and all

Acting against each other alike.

And there would be your world of guns!

Which nothing could ever free from itself

Except a Moulder with different moulds

To mould the metal over.