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

66. Griffy the Cooper

THE COOPER should know about tubs.

But I learned about life as well,

And you who loiter around these graves

Think you know life.

You think your eye sweeps about a wide horizon, perhaps,

In truth you are only looking around the interior of your tub.

You cannot lift yourself to its rim

And see the outer world of things,

And at the same time see yourself.

You are submerged in the tub of yourself—

Taboos and rules and appearances,

Are the staves of your tub.

Break them and dispel the witchcraft

Of thinking your tub is life!

And that you know life!