Margaret Fuller Slack

Original Text: 
Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology, illustrated by Oliver Herford (London: T. Werner Laurie, [1916]): 48. 8-NBI Masters New York Public Library
2But for an untoward fate.
4Chin resting on hand, and deep-set eyes --
5Gray, too, and far-searching.
6But there was the old, old problem:
7Should it be celibacy, matrimony or unchastity?
8Then John Slack, the rich druggist, wooed me,
9Luring me with the promise of leisure for my novel,
10And I married him, giving birth to eight children,
11And had no time to write.
12It was all over with me, anyway,
13When I ran the needle in my hand
14While washing the baby's things,
15And died from lock-jaw, an ironical death.
16Hear me, ambitious souls,
17Sex is the curse of life!


1] The novelist and poet Mary Ann Evans (1819-80). John E. Hallwas, in Spoon River Anthology: An Annotated Edition (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992): 380, identifies Slack as a composite figure of the two wives of Dr. William S. Strode, a Lewistown physician. Back to Line
3] Peniwit: another of Masters' Spoon River characters. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: