Peoria, Illinois

I went a walk far, far, and entered a big empty church at one o'clock. I went down past slum-like hovels to the banks of the Illinois River, all snow fresh fallen; O so white and cold, with trees on the other side. No colours were they - those trees. They were of the neutral colour which some queer 'K. Hayes Miller' of a semi-urge sometimes inserts; to be free from all feeling. The dwellers by the water, for this is Mr. Masters' land, treated me to most natural nods and words of greeting. I might have met mad Frederick any moment by that icy marge and in sight of those trees devoid of any trace of colour except the 'non-existence of non-existence'. Perfect! Perfect! The waitresses in the coffee shop here are particularly nice. My lecture was presided over by a new clergyman. I was brought to him by the undertaker.
(19th January 1930, The Diary of John Cowper Powys)

'Frank Drummer'

Out of a cell into this darkened space -
The end at twenty-five!
My tongue could not speak what stirred within me,
And the village thought me a fool.
Yet at the start there was a clear vision,
A high and urgent purpose in my soul
Which drove me on trying to memorise
The Encyclopedia Britannica!

Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology
(E.L.Masters Memorial Museum
Petersburg, Illinois)