Edgar Lee Master’s 1916 Spoon River Anthology is a collection of free verse stories told by the late residents of a town named Spoon River. Masters knew many of these characters, and wrote their epitaphs in these moving poems narrated by a variety of voices. Masters introduces the cast of characters in a poem entitled “The Hill”, which gives voice to the dead who have their grievances: they blame the living, justify their own actions, and reflect on the others who have joined them in their graves under the hill. The monologues, connected by the inherent community of the town, emerge as a loosely constructed novel. Masters tells of past romances, crimes, and small-town tragedies, and these touching verse poems are examinations of the way people live, and their failure to envision the ultimate pattern of those lives. As Masters writes in the narrative of George Gray, “For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment; Sorrow called to me but I was afraid; Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.” Master's beautiful and compelling work speaks to high school students, asking them to identify what is meaningful in their own lives.