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Lucinda Matlock

December 31, 2012

As I have written before, Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters is my favorite collection of poems. Way back when I was in high school (1965-1969), we even read a few of these poems in English class, naturally not the ones that dealt with sex or violence. I wonder if any high school English teacher is up to reading them in class today. The poems were written for adults and contain references that Edgar Lee Masters assumed to be understandable for educated readers back at the beginning of the 20th century. Possibly many of these poems would be too difficult for most high school students now that curricula continue to be dumbed down. I find this probability very sad. It’s good to stretch your brain and read things you don’t understand completely the first time through, and this is what schools should be encouraging kids to do.

However, I would like to point out one of my favorite personalities from Spoon River, Illinois, a certain Lucinda Matlock. I often read the final 5 lines of her “epitaph” whenever I need some inspiration. When I was younger, I thought her cricitism of the younger generation was unnecessarily harsh. From the perspective of over 60, I realize that she got it right, degenerate sons and daughters.

Lucinda Matlock, can be viewed at http://www.bartleby.com/84/207.html

Lucinda, a woman who spent 96 years working, playing, loving, and taking pleasure in life with all its joys and sorrows, is a model for my Emma Brooks Baxter, sister of billionaire Ned Brooks in Blue Sunset. After she reached her 60’s, Emma found herself without enough to do on Earth and therefore went to Mars where she wound up influencing and directing various legal and illegal activities, all to the benefit of the Mars settlers. She died just as content as Lucinda Matlock did.

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