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Masters, Edgar Lee. "Petit, the Poet".

Summary

The poem is an epitaph of a dead poet composing poetry even from the other world. "Petit" (i.e. small) in the title of the poem fittingly introduces the humble personal confession which follows. The poet talks about his poetry with great modesty and slight irony.

The poem opens with rhythmical "tick, tick" of the poet's "faint iambics". They are wakened by breeze but only pine trees make a symphony of them. The poet wonders about his own "little iambics" and pays tribute to Homer and Whitman whose iambics were that of the symphony of the pines.

Similarly like Masters himself, the speaker of the poem chooses as his subject the common everyday life in his village and the nature around him. These seemingly petty events fit in all poetic forms ("triolets, villanelles, rondels, rondeaus, / Ballads") and offer comedy as well as tragedy.

 

Analysis

- a short narrative poem in free verse

- musical, melodic, rhythmical

- the speaker of the poem reminds the reader that there is beauty even in common things

Basics

  • Author

    Masters, Edgar Lee. (1868 - 1950).
  • Full Title

    "Petit, the Poet".
  • First Published

    In: Spoon River Anthology. NY: MacMillan, 1915.
  • Form

    Poem.

Works Cited

Masters, Edgar Lee. "Petit, the Poet". (1915). In: The Harper American Literature. Ed. Donald McQuade et al. 2nd Compact Edition. New York: Harper & Collins, 1996.

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