Edgar Lee Masters was born on August 23, 1868. His poetry, such as that in Spoon River Anthology, is more than a portrayal of small town hypocrisy, because his renderings would not be possible without a certain concern for the folks he portrayed from small town America. The quote below is from a different volume and shows his freshness of thought because in it he tries to recreate the world of the educated pagan.
CELSUS AT HADRIAN'S VILLA
And let the mind run free. It is no more,
Unless we fight the human weeds that spring
Under the rains that darken Rome. Let's up
With hoes and root them.
Cat-brier, Christian meekness, fair to view—
But how it stinks!