Edgar LeeMastersUS stamp
Calvin Campbell
by Edgar Lee Masters
from Spoon River Anthology [1915]

Ye who are kicking against Fate,
Tell me how it is that on this hillside
Running down to the river,
Which fronts the sun and the south wind,
This plant draws from the air and soil
Poison and becomes poison ivy?
And this plant draws from the same air and soil
Sweet elixirs and colors and becomes arbutus?
And both flourish?
You may blame Spoon River for what it is,
But whom do you blame for the will in you
That feeds itself and makes you dock-weed,
Jimpson, dandelion or mullen
And which can never use any soil or air
So as to make you jessamine or wistaria?

[To read more Spoon River Anthology click here.]