Don Marquis Poems

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Don Marquis
Don Marquis (July 29, 1878 Walnut, Illinois - December 29, 1937 New York City) was an American humorist, journalist, and author. He was variously a novelist, poet, cartoonist, newspaper columnist, and playwright. He is best remembered for creating the characters "Archy" and "Mehitabel", supposed authors of humorous verse. Donald Robert Perry Marquis (pronounced "mark' wis", not "mar kee") grew up in Walnut, Illinois. His brother David died in 1892 at the age of 20; his father James did so in 1897. After graduating from Walnut High School in 1894, he attended the The Knox Academy, a now-defunct preparatory program run by Knox College, in 1896, but left after three months. In 1909, Marquis married Reina Melcher, with whom he had a son, Robert Marquis (1915 - 1921), and a daughter, Barbara Marquis (1918 - 1931). Reina died on December 2, 1923. Three years later he married the actress Marjorie Potts Vonnegut. She died in her sleep on October 25, 1936. Marquis died of a stroke after having suffered three earlier strokes that left him partly disabled. On August 23, 1943, the United States Navy christened a Liberty ship, the USS Don Marquis (IX-215), in his memory.

Green mountains rise to the north;
white water rolls past the eastern city.

Once it ... [read poem]
The things that I can't have I want
And what I have seems second-rate,
The things I wa... [read poem]
sherbourne morning
I begin to understand the old men, parked on benches
smoking a bit of July, waiting for the ear... [read poem]
A note of thanks to you when
all is said and done, for the little cowboy,
for the sonata, ... [read poem]
the most extraordinary women in the world
These are the most extraordinary women in the world,
they do not go to bed at 11 p.m.
when... [read poem]
male rage poem
Feminism, baby, feminism.
This is the anti-feminist poem.
It will get called the anti-... [read poem]
i want you to see
I want you to see the hole in my shirt where your
heart went through like a Colt 45, and opened... [read poem]
mehitabel and her kittens
well boss
mehitabel the cat
has reappeared in her old
haunts with a
flock of kit... [read poem]
The Tropic of Capricorn someone had
left on the seat beside me, somewhere between
U... [read poem]
cowboy on horse in desert
Little cowboy, painted on
a paint-by-numbers picture
found in a junk shop. I have had you ... [read poem]
the poetry bus
It's like a bus: "we're all full up",
"try again next spring". Nobody steps off.
It's the ... [read poem]
the science masquerade
Quantum foam is amniotic.
It is an elegant theory. Elegance involving a
return to the gard... [read poem]
flying deeper into the century
Flying deeper into the century
is exhilarating, the faces of loved ones eaten out
slowly, ... [read poem]
that first year
i wrote poems mainly that first year,
picking garbage, doing dishes, humbling
myself among... [read poem]
god and the fifties
It was shady deals and
Connie Francis on jukebox
junipers and chevy convertibles
park... [read poem]
brain litany: or, overlooking the existential factor
"Can it be that any man has the skill to fabricate himself?" -- St. Augustine

The... [read poem]
I sat drinking and did not notice the dusk,
Till falling petals filled the folds of my dress.... [read poem]
in the quiet night
The floor before my bed is bright:
Moonlight - like hoarfrost - in my room.
I lift my head... [read poem]
he fell into my arms and said
he fell into my arms and said
"sometimes god takes what we love most. he knows best".
i ag... [read poem]
too much has resisted us
i have been thinking of the long arms of peasant girls,
of cold streams where the sun washes up... [read poem]
the exile
It is the place I return to.
Lying awake nights I imagine
the wind just back from the cypr... [read poem]
afternoons in may
The light closes its tiny fist.
The trees put up their old ladders.
Spring is coming with ... [read poem]
to tu fu from shantung
You ask how I spend my time--
I nestle against a treetrunk
and listen to autumn winds... [read poem]
question and answer in the mountains
They ask me why I live in the green mountains.
I smile and don't reply; my heart's at ease.... [read poem]
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