Don Marquis

Donald Robert Marquis, native of Walnut, Illinois, came to fame as a humorist, journalist, and author. He also distinguished himself as a novelist, an essayist, poet, playwright, and, perhaps most notably, a newspaper columnist. It was during his time as columnist for the New York Sun that Don Marquis created what would become his most famous character: “archy,” the cockroach who communicated with the author through the use of the typewriter. Because the insect was unable to reach the capitalization keys, his typed blank verse was famously all in lower case. The adventures of Archy and his companion, Mehitabel the cat, have remained in print since their creation in the 1920s.

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“To read these comic poems in blank verse again is to live childhood again, when the surly, often irate insect was first discovered.