I really wanted to like this book for several reasons It came highly recommended by people I know as well as reviews online I enjoy a vast variety of poetry and this looked along the lines
I really wanted to like this book, for several reasons:> It came highly recommended by people I know as well as reviews online.> I enjoy a vast variety of poetry, and this looked along the lines of one of my favorites, Ogden Nash (humorous blank verse).> The illustrations looked charming (particularly since I'm a fan of "Mutts")> I even liked the cheerful yellow cover and the small binding. Nothing to judge a book on, to be sure, but a pretty package always is a plus when I own a book.But I didn't find it reached my expectations at all. Sure, I saw the humor in the poems, but it was so dark and negative. The poetry itself lacked a certain "flow" that I've come to expect from good blank verse like T.S. Eliot. Frankly it seemed lazy more than ground-breaking, and mean rather than witty.A viral The Best of Archy and Mehitabel Author Don Marquis am Book A selection of the best of the hilarious free verse poems by the irreverent cockroach poet Archy and his alley cat pal Mehitabel.Don Marquis s famous fictional insect appeared in his newspaper columns from 1916 into the 1930s, and he has delighted generations of readers ever since A poet in a former life, Archy was reincarnated as a bug who expresses himself by diving heaA selection of the best of the hilarious free verse poems by the irreverent cockroach poet Archy and his alley cat pal Mehitabel.Don Marquis s famous fictional insect appeared in his newspaper columns from 1916 into the 1930s, and he has delighted generations of readers ever since A poet in a former life, Archy was reincarnated as a bug who expresses himself by diving headfirst onto a typewriter His sidekick Mehitabel is a streetwise feline who claims to have been Cleopatra in a previous life As E B White wrote in his now classic introduction, the Archy poems contain cosmic reverberations along with high comedy and have the jewel like perfection of poetry Adorned with George Herriman s whimsical illustrations and including White s introduction, our Pocket Poets selection the only hardcover Archy and Mehitabel in print is a beautiful volume, and perfectly sized for its tiny hero.. Donald Robert Perry Don Marquis was a newspaper columnist as well as a playwright, novelist, and poet, best known for his Archy and Mehitabel free verse and his Old Soak anti Prohibition play.. The best Kindle The Best of Archy and Mehitabel Genius. Pure genius. I savored 'Archy and Mehitabel'; read every last word. From the insightful introductory essay by E.B. White, to the scratchy pen illustrations by George Herriman of 'Krazy Kat and Ignatz' fame, to the final poem by Don Marquis, the whole thing filled me with glee. Marquis was a newspaper reporter during and after WWI, and these vers libre poems were published in the New York Sun between 1916 and the early 1920s. The humor is timeless, but they are steeped in the mood and politics and society of that era. The subject matter of the poems varies widely; from ghosts and ectoplasm to Shakespeare and theater, and the narrators are variously cats, parrots, rats, toads, fleas, moths, and dogs. The poems are written without punctuation or capitalization, using line breaks to give the necessary rhythmic pauses. This is because they were written by a fictional cockroach, Archy, who was a free verse poet in a previous life, and who wrote stories on Don's old typewriter at the newspaper office when everyone in the building had left. Archy accomplished this in a painful fashion by flinging himself headfirst down onto the keys (thus, no capitals, as it would be impossible for him to hit a key and shift at the same time with his full-body typing technique). When he needs explicit punctuation, he has to type it out full length, as 'exclamation point', 'period' or 'question mark'. Mehitabel, Archy's partner in crime, is another transmigrated soul. A downtrodden alley cat with loose morals, she claims to have been Cleopatra in a former life. Mehitabel laments the domestic trials of the female artist hampered by kittens, but her constant refrains of wotthehell wotthehell and toujours gai toujours gai show her resilient and devil-may-care spirit.I don't know what it is about these stories that captured my imagination so completely. The voice of Archy is distinctive, seductive, persuasive. He often despairs of his condition as a bug, not in a Kafkaesque way, but in the manner of a true writer plagued by doubt and angst about the quality of his verse, always struggling against his muse, asking the question "is it literature?". His mastery of language is awe-inspiring. His turn of phrase is quick, nonchalant and witty. In the poem 'archy interviews a pharaoh' (which is actually about Prohibition and a thirst for beer), Archy devises half a dozen playful ways of referring to the dry pharoah in a deferential yet saucy manner. He calls him 'my regal leatherface', 'old tan and tarry', 'the princely raisin', 'divine drought', 'my reverend juicelessness', and 'the royal dessication'.I found myself wanting to type out several of these poems - notably, 'the lesson of the moth' - to print and post around my workplace as a constant reminder of the juicy essence of life and romance, and the universal pain of writing. They taste like Walt Whitman and Herman Melville, yet they bubble with an effervescence and playfulness all their own. They look forward, towards John Steinbeck and Henry Miller and the Beat generation to come.This is not your standard poetry. It's not likely to be studied in English literature classes in high school (more's the pity), it doesn't often rhyme and it isn't Tennyson or Milton (although the writer has clearly read and revered these greats, and references them in his work). Marquis speaks in an American voice, a free voice, a laughing, crying, comic, tragic voice. It's great stuff and I hope you read it.
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