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Edgar Lee Masters’s poem, “Minerva Jones”

Here is quite simply one of the best poems of the twentieth century: it is a diamond thunderbolt straight to the forehead.

Minerva Jones

I am Minerva, the village poetess,
Hooted at, jeered at by the Yahoos of the street
For my heavy body, cock-eye, and rolling walk,
And all the more when “Butch” Weldy
Captured me after a brutal hunt.
He left me to my fate with Doctor Meyers;
And I sank into death, growing numb from the feet up,
Like one stepping deeper and deeper into a stream of ice.
Will some one go to the village newspaper,
And gather into a book the verses I wrote? –
I thirsted so for love
I hungered so for life!