Poet and author James Whitcomb Riley was born on October 7th 1849 in Greenfield, Indiana. Better known as the “Hoosier Poet” for his work with regional dialects, and also as the “Children’s Poet” Riley was born into an influential and well off family. However his education was spotty but he was surrounded by creativity which was to stand him in good stead later in life. His early career was a series of low paid temporary jobs. After stints as a journalist and billboard proprietor he had the resources to dedicate more of his efforts to writing. Riley was prone to drink which was to affect his health and later his career but after a slow start and a lot of submissions he began to gain traction first in newspapers and then with the publication of his dialect poems ‘Boone County Poems’ he came to national recognition. This propelled him to long term contracts to perform on speaking circuits. These were very successful but over the years his star waned. In 1888 he was too drunk to perform and the ensuing publicity made everything seem very bleak for a while. However he overcame that and managed to re-negotiate his contracts so that he received his rightful share of the income and his wealth thereafter increased very quickly. A bachelor, Riley seems to have his writings as his only outlet, and although in his public performances he was well received, his publications were becoming seen as banal and repetitive and sales of these later works began to fall away. Eventually after his last tour in 1895 he retired to spend his final years in Indianapolis writing patriotic poetry. Now in poor health, weakened by years of heavy drinking, Riley, the Hoosier Poet died on July 23, 1916 of a stroke. In a final, unusual tribute, Riley lay in state for a day in the Indiana Statehouse, where thousands came to pay their respects. Not since Lincoln had a public personage received such a send-off. He is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. Here we present Afterwhiles.
Arthur Macy was a Nantucket boy of Quaker extraction. His name alone is evidence of this, for it is safe to say that a Macy, wherever found in the United States, is descended from that sturdy old Quaker who was one of those who bought Nantucket from the Indians, paid them fairly for it, treated them with justice, and lived on friendly terms with them. In many ways Arthur Macy showed that he was a Nantucketer and, at least by descent, a Quaker. He often used phrases peculiar to our island in the sea, and was given, in conversation at least, to similes which smacked of salt water. Almost the last time I saw him he said, "I'm coming round soon for a good long gam." (Summary from the Introduction to Poems by Arthur Macy)This was the fortnightly poem for March 13, 2015.
Idylls of the King is a series of twelve narrative poems which recite the legend of King Arthur, his knights, his love for Guinevere and her tragic betrayal of him, and the rise and fall of Arthur's kingdom. The whole work recounts Arthur's attempt and failure to lift up mankind and create a perfect kingdom, from his coming to power to his death at the hands of the traitor Mordred. Individual poems detail the deeds of various knights, including Lancelot, Geraint, Galahad, and Balin and Balan, and also Merlin and the Lady of the Lake. There is little transition between Idylls, but the central figure of Arthur links all the stories. Tennyson's metaphors of nature are derived from observations of his own surroundings, collected over the course of several years.
William Cowper was an English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. (summary from Wikipedia)
When the narcotics-peddling Bloody Serpent and his army of pushers kidnap Nita van Sloan, Richard Wentworth goes on the warpath—as the Spider! Knowing that Nita’s cruel captors intend to transform her into a debased drug addict, the Master of Men assembles a collection of fearsome weapons and equipment, then charges into the Underworld’s secret crime nests to inflict terror on all criminals. Will Wentworth’s need to save his beloved force him to knuckle under the Bloody Serpent’s demand to be left in peace to purvey his wicked trade—or will the Spider slay every crook in sight, hoping to destroy his masked foe? The Serpent of Destruction is torn from the pages of the April, 1934 issue of The Spider magazine.
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