Home  »  Spoon River Anthology  »  214. Tennessee Claflin Shope

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

214. Tennessee Claflin Shope

I WAS the laughing-stock of the village,

Chiefly of the people of good sense, as they call themselves—

Also of the learned, like Rev. Peet, who read Greek

The same as English.

For instead of talking free trade,

Or preaching some form of baptism;

Instead of believing in the efficacy

Of walking cracks, picking up pins the right way,

Seeing the new moon over the right shoulder,

Or curing rheumatism with blue glass,

I asserted the sovereignty of my own soul.

Before Mary Baker G. Eddy even got started

With what she called science

I had mastered the “Bhagavad Gita,”

And cured my soul, before Mary

Began to cure bodies with souls—

Peace to all worlds!