Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

192. Ippolit Konovaloff

I WAS a gun-smith in Odessa. 
One night the police broke in the room 
Where a group of us were reading Spencer. 
And seized our books and arrested us. 
But I escaped and came to New York         5
And thence to Chicago, and then to Spoon River, 
Where I could study my Kant in peace 
And eke out a living repairing guns! 
Look at my moulds! My architectonics! 
One for a barrel, one for a hammer,  10
And others for other parts of a gun! 
Well, now suppose no gun-smith living 
Had anything else but duplicate moulds 
Of these I show you—well, all guns 
Would be just alike, with a hammer to hit  15
The cap and a barrel to carry the shot, 
All acting alike for themselves, and all 
Acting against each other alike. 
And there would be your world of guns! 
Which nothing could ever free from itself  20
Except a Moulder with different moulds 
To mould the metal over. 



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