Generations of readers have delighted in the work of the great American humorist Don Marquis, who was frequently compared to Mark Twain. These free-verse poems, which first appeared in Marquis's New York newspaper columns, revolve around the escapades of Archy, the philosophical cockroach who was once a poet, and Mehitabel, a streetwise alley cat who was once Cleopatra. Reincarnated as the lowest creatures on the social scale, they prowl the rowdy streets of New York City in between the world wars. The antics of these two immortal characters are now made available for the first time in their original order of publication in this unique, comprehensive collection, which features many poems never before reprinted. First time in Penguin Classics Archy and Mehitabel is considered the inspiration for E. B. White's Charlotte's Web Features many new poems never reprinted since they were first published early in the twentieth century Introduction places Marquis in the context of American humor and the history of satire .
The now classic tale of Archy the cockroach and Mehitabel the cat in her ninth life. First published in 1927, this free verse poem has become an essential part of American literature.
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 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.
The 1912 publication of Don Marquis' first book, the novel "Danny's Own Story," created a stir in literary circles. Doubleday, Page & Co., Don's publisher, heralded the young writer as a rising star, and reviewers favorably compared him with Mark Twain, who had died less than two year earlier. (It didn't hurt that "Danny's Own Story" bore a passing resemblance to "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Both were written in a backwoods vernacular and both used wry humor to tell the adventures of young boys, one an orphan and the other nearly so, who ran away from home and lived by their wits.)
Of all the literary genres, humor has the shortest shelf life--except for Archy and Mehitabel, that is. First published in 1916, it is a classic of American literature. Archy is a cockroach, inside whom resides the soul of a free-verse poet; he communicates with Don Marquis by leaping upon the keys of the columnist's typewriter. In poems of varying length, Archy pithily describes his wee world, the main fixture of which is Mehitabel, a devil-may-care alley cat.
A collection of previously published columns.
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