His Story

“Salem Depot” – A Poem

This epic poem by Quinton Oliver Jones is about Salem past and present in the mind of a young man. It takes the reader to five locations: 


allegro grazioso — Salem Depot
The downtown railroad station; the engines come roaring in bellowing smoke and steam; they connect the city to the world; awesome and full of meaning.

andante — the East India Marine Hall
The historic room of the Peabody Essex Museum is filled with glass cases of sailing ship models. Here a boy meets childhood memories and dreams of traveling the oceans on a ship named Eunice.

scherzo — Salem Willows
The oceanside amusement park; the adolescent meets a girl; the voice of his identity is changing.

con moto moderate — Witch Street
A dark section of town with haunted houses; ghosts abide; here is the Malebolge — Dante’s eighth circle of hell.

allegro non troppo, andante maestoso, presto — Salem Tunnel
On leaving the depot, the steam trains travels a short distance and enters a tunnel going under the center of the city. The poet gives us a painful soul-searching look at the darker side of Salem’s history. A grim old woman sits on the curbing reviewing a tragic life. She is not easy on her city.

The poem is a challenge as Quinton shifts his viewpoint, his metaphor, his allusions and his voice. The poet chooses interesting words in unexpected places. 

Impressionistic oil painting of the old Salem Depot by QOJ

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