Prisoner's Poems | Skillshare Projects



Prisoner's Poems

Step 1: Text Selection

"Sometimes a man's life turns into a cancer

From being bruised and continually bruised,

And swells into a purplish mass

Like growths on stalks of corn."

- " 'Indignation' Jones" (11-14), Spoon River Anthology (21), Edgar Lee Masters

" 'Indignation' Jones" is the story of a man "whom life had crushed", but his bitter defeat is not pathetic; his hopelessness is continuously justified by one misfortune after another (S.R.A., 12). I chose this text because the end of the poem at first seems to convey a painfully slow end to his life:

"So I crept, crept, like a snail through the days

Of my life.

No more you hear my footsteps in the morning,

Resounding on the hollow sidewalk

Going to the grocery store for a little corn meal

And a nickel's worth of bacon."

- lines 19-24, page 21

In my screenplay, these lines instead ominously suggest a new beginning in which "Indignation" Jones seeks revenge.

Step 2:

Step 3:

A man broken by life finds purpose in death.


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